Trudeau, Trump, Pena Nieto sign USMCA, the revised NAFTA

Minnie Murray
December 2, 2018

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed as a replacement to NAFTA on Friday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but there still seems to be some confusion over what to call it.

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada on Friday signed a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, a move that is likely to affect Japanese and other foreign automakers operating in Mexico and Canada.

On Saturday, he will meet with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to address the trade war triggered by Trump's insistence on China ending what he says have been decades of unfair trade practices.

The three were still bickering over the finer points of the deal just hours before officials were due to sit down and sign it.

'We worked hard on this agreement - it's been long and hard, ' he said.

"We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse", he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, refered to the agreement as the "new NAFTA".

Trudeau also referenced the recent plant closures by General Motors that will affect almost 15,000 jobs in the United States and Canada, calling the development a "heavy blow".

"The agreement that we have signed today will allow each country to gain individually, but also North America will grow stronger and will grow to be more prosperous", he said.

Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is attending the G20 meeting.

The new agreement is now expected to face staunch Congressional opposition as newly empowered House Democrats will be reluctant to hand the president a political win absent significant concessions in other policy disputes.

The United States, Canada and Mexico finally signed a new trade deal following intense negotiations.

Presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the deal as a "work in progress" that lacks worker and environment protections. "I will only support this new deal if we can make it a better deal for Wisconsin farmers, manufacturers, businesses and workers".

Separately, a smaller group of Republican senators even tried to convince the White House to hit the gas pedal on ratification efforts, fearful that the new influx of Democrats in the new year will make congressional approval of the deal "significantly more hard". "It's been so well reviewed I don't expect to have much of a problem".

Lighthizer said the pact was negotiated from the beginning to be a bipartisan agreement. "We might [later], but we had none", the president told reporters.

The deal's completion lifts the economic uncertainty created by the acrimonious 15-month negotiation process, an uncertainty that "only would have gotten worse" had the parties not reached a new agreement, Trudeau said at the signing ceremony.

Mexican negotiators reportedly desire modifications to limit future metal shipments to the United States to 80 percent of current levels, while Canada is resisting quotas in the face of low-priced steel from China entering the American market.

"Our nations have also agreed to innovate new measures to ensure fair competition and promote high wages and higher wages for United States and North American workers, the. workers are tremendous beneficiary".

Mexico has also agreed to labor reforms, while Canada agreed to increase market access for USA "dairy products, eggs, and poultry". "As a result (of the new agreement), the tariff-free access NAFTA guaranteed for more than 70 per cent of Canada's total exports is secure".

"One, they don't want to be seen as backing down to Donald Trump, so it's a face-saving thing", Moore said.

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