According to multiple reports, White House Senior Adviser, Jared Kushner played a key role in persuading his father-in-law, Donald Trump to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after the president threatened to end it altogether. Canada’s The National Post reported Monday that an unidentified White House official called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to convince Trump not to pull out of NAFTA, an agreement the president called “the worst trade deal ever.”
After the story broke in Canada, a White House official told the AP it was Trudeau’s office that called Kushner after seeing reports that Trump wanted to withdraw from NAFTA. Either way, it was Kushner who reportedly set up the phone call that brought the two leaders together.
Trump has cited the call from Trudeau and a similar call from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, as influencing him to negotiate a better trade deal, rather than tearing up the agreement altogether.
“I like both these gentlemen very much. I respect their countries very much. The relationship is very special. And I said I will hold on the termination. Let’s see if we can make it a fair deal. That’s what it comes down to,” Trump said.
Trump didn’t mention Kushner’s involvement, but there’s a chance he may not have known just how involved his son-in-law was. A previous White House official who wishes to remain anonymous says, “It’s very unusual for the Senior Advisor to bypass the Secretary of State and particularly the president in a private conversation with any foreign government concerning international trade agreements.”