Donald Trump has told the leaders of Canada and Mexico that he will not pull the US out of NAFTA just yet but he wants to quickly begin renegotiating the trade deal.
The announcement came in a statement from the White House, which said the president had mulled signing an executive order to withdraw the US from the deal.
"President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries," a White House statement said.
"It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation. It is an honor to deal with both President Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better," Trump was quoted as saying in the statement.
Throughout his election campaign Mr Trump repeatedly decried NAFTA "the single worst trade deal" and promised to withdraw the US from it.
He has already pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a could still withdraw from NAFTA if he fails to negotiate what he believes to be a better deal than the existing arrangement.
Mexico has not commented on the latest announcement from the White House but the nation's foreign minister said that Mexico would walk away from the talks rather than accept a bad deal.
A spokesman for Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is ready to begin discussion "at any time".