President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, en route to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday.
President Donald Trump on Friday told Congress he intends to sign a trade agreement with Mexico, but left the door open for Canada to join, after talks between U.S. and Canadian officials wound down for the week.
MEXICO LETTER, CANADA TALKS
Trump sent Congress a letter about his intentions to sign a deal with Mexico—“and Canada, if it is willing”—90 days from now, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. The USTR said talks between U.S. and Canadian negotiators would resume on Wednesday. Trump has been seeking to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement, which he calls a bad deal for the U.S.
Trump’s statement came shortly after he acknowledged in a tweet leaked comments of his to the Toronto Star, saying he wouldn’t compromise at all in the talks with Canada. Trump reportedly made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg News, and wanted them to be off the record. The Star’s reporter said he wouldn’t be commenting on the source of the leaked quotes.
U.S. stocks ended mostly higher as investors watched the trade action, with the S&P 500 SPX, +0.01% closing less than 0.1% higher and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.09% retreating by about 22 points.
‘THE BIGGEST STADIUM IN TEXAS WE CAN FIND’
Trump said on Twitter that Sen. Ted Cruz—with whom he bitterly clashed during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries—had his “complete and total Endorsement.” Trump said he’d pick the “biggest stadium in Texas we can find” for the event to bolster Cruz as he faces Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke in November’s election.
During the presidential campaign, Trump called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and suggested the senator’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Cruz branded Trump a “pathological liar” and urged Republicans to vote their conscience during remarks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The Cruz-O’Rourke race is tighter than expected, with Cruz leading by about 5 points in a recent average of polls.
Also see: Beto O’Rourke hailed as an ‘Obama-like’ answer to Donald Trump in 2020.
While in North Carolina, Trump signed an executive order on retirement security, and met with supporters.
Trump’s order directs the government to work to make it easier for small businesses to join together and offer retirement plans to workers. It also instructs the Treasury Department to view rules on minimum distributions from retirement plans, to see if investors can keep more money for a longer time in them.