WASHINGTON — Key Republicans and Democrats are in agreement that President Donald Trump does not have any legal authority to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in an effort to force Congress to swiftly consider his new deal with Canada and Mexico.
Members of the Senate Finance Committee told INSIDER that Trump cannot just shred NAFTA, but would instead have to consult with Congress, where he would no doubt face significant hurdles without a concrete and agreed upon replacement already in place.
"I'll be terminating it within a relatively short period of time. We get rid of NAFTA. It's been a disaster for the United States. It's caused us tremendous amounts of unemployment and loss and company loss and everything else," Trump told reporters this week. "That'll be terminated. And so Congress will have a choice of the USMCA or pre-NAFTA, which worked very well."
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters that Trump has no legal authority to withdraw, and he would require consent from Congress.
But some suggested there is room for some kind of NAFTA dismantling by Trump, as long as he meets certain criteria.