US, Canada, Mexico sign USMCA trade deal after last-minute brinkmanship

Roman Schwartz
November 30, 2018

Calling the deal "the new North American Free Trade Agreement, Trudeau said it "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".

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

"And our companies won't be leaving the United States", Trump said earlier this year.

Trump called the deal "the largest, most significant modern and balanced trade agreement in history", adding that it was "probably the largest trade deal ever made". 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.

"The signing promotes North America as a safe harbor for trade and investment", said Ujczo.

Top U.S. officials were on hand for the signing ceremony, 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.

President Trump, his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have officially signed the replacement to NAFTA, in the wake of the Trump administration enacting tariffs on steel and aluminum products from Canada and Mexico, which sparked retaliatory tariffs and negotiations with the two countries. "That should be true for NAFTA and true for every deal we cut".

Trump was greeted warmly at the Casa Rosada by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, a longtime business acquaintance.

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

There are a few areas still to iron out.

And dairy remains a sticking point with the influential Canadian dairy lobby urging Trudeau's government not to sign the trade deal as it gives the United States expanded access to Canada's dairy, egg, and poultry markets.

"A vast number of technical details need to be scrubbed and wrapped up", she added.

Friday also marks an important deadline for the revamped version of NAFTA.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto joined the ceremony on his last day in office.

Politicians from each country will still need to ratify the USMCA before it can take effect. 'The two leaders discussed their disappointment in the announced closures of General Motors plants in their respective countries and their plans for the upcoming G20 Summit'. Canada has said it will lift its tariffs once the US lifts its own.

The new North American trade agreement - which the calling the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, while the Canadian government is referring to it as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement - was reached in late September after a big push from the US president to get the deal done before the midterm elections and before incoming Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador officially took office December 1.

Trump's Friday schedule also includes an informal meeting with Australia's new prime minister.

GM to make major announcement about its global operations Monday-union
President Donald Trump said he was "not happy" with the decision and spoke "very tough" with GM CEO Mary Barra about the moves. In 2005, GM cut 3,750 jobs with the shutdown of the Oshawa No. 2 plant and the elimination of a shift at its other auto line.

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