Peter Navarro, one of President Donald Trump‘s top trade advisors, told CNBC on Monday the last-minute deal to bring Canada on board to replace NAFTA shows that the U.S. won’t be the world’s “piggy bank” anymore.
“It’s a bullish day for America. It’s a bullish day for North America,” Navarro said.
“When countries come to the table and bargain fairly, we sign deals,” said Navarro. “Trump has basically declared that we will no longer be the piggy bank of the world. We are free traders. All we seek is free and reciprocal trade.”
Trump advisor Jared Kushner and Robert Lighthizer, the administration’s top trade negotiator, took point on the talks.
“President Donald J. Trump was the visionary on this. He was very involved,” said Navarro. He said Lighthizer and Kushner worked well as a team and “should be congratulated for bringing this to the finish line.”
Leaders of the three countries are expected to sign the NAFTA replacement before the end of November. “But [it] won’t be ratified for many months after,” Navarro said.
Canada had been as left out when the U.S. and Mexico reached a preliminary deal in late August.
Navarro refused to say what the new pact, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, might signal to China as Washington and Beijing still grapple with a trade dispute that’s resulted escalating tariffs.
But he did accuse China of intellectual property theft and appropriating U.S. technology by forcing American companies that want to do business there into joint ventures with Chinese companies.
China’s trade practices harm the global economy, Navarro said.