Trump joins leaders of Canada, Mexico to sign new trade pact

02 December, 2018, 15:32 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • World leaders started arriving in Buenos Aires overnight ahead of the gathering of the Group of 20

Trudeau also referenced recent downsizing moves by GM in North America as a "heavy blow".

The pact will lock in USA market access to Canada and Mexico, expand American exports and includes new measures to ensure fair competition, explained Trump as he stood alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

"Revamping the new trade agreement was aimed to preserve the view of an integrated North America with the firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive", he said in remarks translated from Spanish.

"This new deal will be the most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country, with the most advanced protections for workers ever developed", Trump said.

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

Trudeau has a majority in Canada's House of Commons but faces an election next October.

Trump did not mention the Russian Federation investigation during brief comments before sitting down with Macri, whose father, the president noted, was a former business partner.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged US President Donald Trump to remove tariffs implemented by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum products earlier this year.

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The signing ceremony in and of itself represented a political victory for Trump, who has been eager to mark the deal with a formal photo opportunity alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Trudeau - with whom Trump has had a rocky relationship - spoke next and conspicuously avoided calling the new agreement by its name, "USMCA", a name that Trump came up with. He said that NAFTA had a bad connotation in the US due to the negative effects of the agreement in the country, and that it is better to start fresh. Trump said on Twitter.

However, after a deal was agreed in principle on 30 September, Mexican President Pena Nieto hailed it as a "win-win-win".

Simply put, "The NAFTA 2.0 text is not the transformational replacement of the corporate-rigged trade-pact model that progressive activists, unions, and congressional Democrats have long demanded", wrote Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.

Canada and Mexico are the second and third-biggest USA trading partners, each accounting for more than $500 billion in trade per year, nearly rivaling China and the 28 European Union member states combined. The new deal replaced the much-debated NAFTA agreement.

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. "In the United States, the new trade pact will promote high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for American exports across a range of sectors including our farming, manufacturing and service industries". However, ongoing differences over steel and aluminum tariffs the US has imposed on its northern and southern neighbors encroached on the celebratory moment. We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there.

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

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a likely 2020 presidential candidate, said she will oppose the new deal, saying it won't stop the "serious and ongoing harm NAFTA causes for American workers".

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