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Trump conceded that renegotiating NAFTA is simpler: "And so I decided (to do that) rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big shock to the system.” He emphasized, however, that he retains the right to cancel NAFTA if he can’t get a deal.

"It was a negotiating tactic… to gain some kind of leverage,” said Patrick Leblond, a non-resident fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and University of Ottawa professor.

Trudeau said the president appeared to be considering it.

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