Trump signs trade deal with Mexico, Canada

30 November, 2018, 19:42 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • President Donald Trump center shakes hands with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto looks on after they signed a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that is replacing the NAFTA trade deal during a

After the three countries' leaders sign the pact, it must be ratified by their respective legislatures.

Flags of the U.S., Canada and Mexico fly next to each other in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. August 29, 2018.

The USMCA (read the whole text here) replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had created a free trade zone between the three countries back in 1994.

Trudeau raised the tariff issue before the three leaders emerged together for the signing ceremony, said officials in the Prime Minister's Office. He has slapped tariffs on the European Union, pulled the US out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal and suggested he might be willing to pull the USA out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation if member countries don't significantly boost their defense spending. "We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse and we got there", Trump said of the pact.

On his last day in office, he said the new deal was forged with the "firm belief that we are stronger and more competitive".

While Trump did not mention General Motors' announcement on Tuesday that it would lay off 15 percent of its workers and close five plants in the USA and Canada, Trudeau did, calling it a "heavy blow".

Trudeau said the deal "lifts the risk of serious economic uncertainty that lingers throughout a trade renegotiation process - uncertainty that would have only gotten worse and more damaging if we had not reached a new NAFTA".

President Donald Trump Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau right and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Neto left participate in the USMCA signing ceremony Friday Nov. 30 2018 in Buenos Aires Argentina
Tariff tensions shadow US, Canada, Mexico trade pact signing

The agreement also offers a measure of vindication for Trump's uncompromising "America First" stance at a gathering associated with the elite globalism that he denigrates.

-Today in Argentina, the United States is joining Canada and Mexico to sign a new trade agreement that will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses. All eyes are on a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday after a G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Trump opened Friday with a cordial meeting at the Casa Rosada with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, a longtime business acquaintance.

The USMCA - which overhauls the rules covering more than $1.2 trillion in regional commerce - faces major hurdles next year in Congress, where Democrats will control the House and may be reluctant to help Trump to fulfill a 2016 campaign promise. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

One looming question is whether Trump will have a run-in with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid global dismay over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Canadian officials would be working with their US and Mexican counterparts later on Thursday, she added. Lawmakers in both parties have called on Trump to at least avoid the young heir apparent as punishment.

One of the biggest grievances in talks between the US and China as a trade war between the world's two largest economies continues, the USMCA aims to protect intellectual property by requiring Canada and Mexico to treat USA copyrights with the same protections as their domestic ones.


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