Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

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

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

In May this year, President Trump slapped increased tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminium coming into the US.

There is more work to be done, Trudeau said, calling the recent announcement that General Motors will close plants in Canada and the United States "a heavy blow".

Trump ceremoniously signed the new agreement, called the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, in Buenos Aires this morning with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Mr Trump hailed a political victory, having lamented the "terrible" North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) since the early days of his presidential run.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was proposed by the three countries as a replacement deal on September 30.

But the United States landscape will shift significantly in January when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, after winning midterm elections in November.

Mr Trudeau said the deal was a major step for Canada's economy but warned that there is more work to be done. USA intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince must have at least known of the plot to kill Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi royal family.

In his remarks Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed the importance of locking down an agreement while he stood with Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

After much anticipation, Canada signed the revamped NAFTA in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the high-profile G20 summit Friday. The USMCA, as Trump refers to it, must still be approved by lawmakers in all three countries.

Trump has made renegotiating NAFTA a centrepiece of his presidency. The road to rewrite the NAFTA was a "battle", Trump said.

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Trump noted the signing in Argentina comes on the last day in office for the Mexican president, who is being succeeded by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, elected five months ago.

Friday marked an important deadline for the trade pact.

A new deal was negotiated after Trump took office, who promised to secure better terms for the USA industry and workers. "We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse and we got there", Trump said after the signing.

"We began with a very strong USA demand that we abolish the system of [dairy] supply management entirely", Ms. Freeland said.

TRUMP: "These new provisions will benefit labour, technology and development in each of our nations, leading to much greater growth and opportunity throughout our countries and across North America".

Although the United States has federal laws barring discrimination on the basis of sex and courts are increasingly interpreting them to bar anti-LGBT discrimination, no explicit federal law is in place against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Retaliatory tariffs by Mexico have harmed US dairy and pork farmers.

In one new feature, it requires that 40 per cent of cars' contents eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour - that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico - to qualify for duty-free treatment.

She added that she will vote on the deal only if President Trump revises it.

For Trump - whose G20 diplomacy is overshadowed by legal troubles back home and his abrupt cancellation of a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin - the signing was a victory.

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