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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump could sign an executive order as early as Monday intended to renegotiate the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, NBC News reported, citing an unidentified White House official.

In addition to wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the new Republican president also intends to sign an executive order pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), NBC reported.

Trump, who was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president on Friday, targeted both trade pacts during his White House campaign.

Officials were not immediately available to confirm the report to Reuters. Trump’s official schedule includes a 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) signing of executive orders in the Oval Office.

The president said on Sunday he planned talks soon with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to begin renegotiating NAFTA.

“We will be starting negotiations having to do with NAFTA,” Trump said at a swearing-in ceremony for his top White House advisers. “We are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border.”

Trump said during the campaign he wanted to secure more favorable terms for the United States in the NAFTA pact.

NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, and other trade deals became lightning rods for voter anger in the U.S. industrial heartland states that swept Trump to victory.

CNN reported the first executive action Trump intended to sign was to pull out of the TPP, the trade agreement among 11 Pacific Rim countries that Democratic President Barack Obama strongly backed but was never ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, DC January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria