Richardson also warned that Trump should “stop talking about the wall and immigration,” and continue to keep those issues separate from trade negotiations.
He recommended Trump keep a potential deal “skinny,” which means it wouldn’t need approval from the U.S. and Mexican congresses to pass.
“Concessions have been made on all sides,” Richardson said. “But don’t make it broad so that you have to go to the Mexican Congress, the U.S. Congress.”
“So make a deal now on what is called a skinny NAFTA. It’s good for our country, good for Mexico, good for Canada. That would be my advice,” Richardson said.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA amid months of contentious negotiation with neighbors Mexico and Canada. Mexico and the U.S. agreed last week to step up talks on revamping NAFTA in hopes of reaching a deal on major issues this month. Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that he expected there would be an agreement in the coming days.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
— Reuters contributed to this report.