Trump signs trade deal with Canada and Mexico

02 December, 2018, 15:33 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Canada on track for Friday signing of USMCA once details finalized: Freeland

While Trump hailed the revised trade pact, Trudeau was more measured, saying there was still work to be done and calling on Trump - using his first name - to remove steel and aluminum tariffs the US imposed on Canada and Mexico.

USA president Donald Trump, left, and Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, smile during a news conference before the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday Nov. 30, 2018. But fundamental change happened under the deal's predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Legislative bodies from each of the nations still need to approve the deal, called the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

The Council of Canadians' honorary chairperson Maude Barlow, meanwhile, said the deal in its current form has "many poison pills".

Trump has threatened to use a national security justification to impose steep tariffs on the hundreds of billions of dollars in autos the USA imports annually.

'President Trump spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau this morning, ' spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

"This has been a battle, and battles sometimes make great friendships, so it's really terrific", Trump said of the combative process to overhaul the pact.

Needless to say, the tensions during the signing ceremony were conspicuous.

Trudeau said he attended the ceremony because the agreement maintains stability for Canada's economy and removes the dangers associated with Trump's threat to withdraw the United States from NAFTA.

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.

"The trade agreement formally known as prince - I mean formally known as NAFTA - is a work in progress", Pelosi joked while addressing a question on the proposed trade pact. "We don't like their representative much", Trump said in late September, potentially referring to Freeland.

With an early tweet, Trump defended the continued negotiations by his private company over a proposed luxury tower in Moscow while he was running for president in 2016, saying it was "very legal & very cool".

Trump hailed it as "one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in US and World History" on Twitter shortly after the signing ceremony.

Kushner effusively praised Peña Nieto, saying he "put Mexican interests first even when it wasn't popular".

Mexico has also agreed to labor reforms, while Canada agreed to increase market access for USA "dairy products, eggs, and poultry".

"Make no mistake, we will stand up for our workers and fight for their families and their communities", he said. The new deal encourages auto companies to invest or expand in the United States and Canada, not low-wage Mexico, by requiring that 40 per cent of cars be made where auto workers earn at least $16 an hour; otherwise, the vehicle won't qualify for USMCA's duty-free treatment.

Before Trump arrived in Argentina he injected additional drama into the proceedings by canceling another high-stakes meeting, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Top US officials were on hand for the signing, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, national security adviser John Bolton and the President's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.



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