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Trudeau, Trump and Pena Nieto set to sign USMCA

Trudeau, Trump and Pena Nieto set to sign USMCA

The longstanding trilateral deal was roundly criticized by the USA protectionist right, as well as the anti-globalization left, particularly for the damage that eliminating tariffs did to the USA auto industry.

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 USA imposed on Canada and Mexico.

'This has been a battle and battles sometimes make great friendships, ' Trump told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the signing ceremony at the G20 summit.

Politicians from each country will still need to ratify the USMCA before it can take effect.

-USMCA includes the strongest digital trade and financial services provisions of any United States trade agreement.

Canada, meanwhile, is resisting quotas, offering instead to beef up its cooperation with US efforts to prevent low-cost Chinese steel from entering the American market, according to Eric Miller, president of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that General Motors' decision to close several production facilities and slash 15 percent of its North American workforce was a "heavy blow," before directly calling on President Trump to eliminate steel and aluminum tariffs.

Trudeau's readout on the same call also mentioned lifting the tariffs the US imposed on steel and aluminum.

"We've known each other a long while", Trump said, noting he worked with Macri's father on real estate developments. But the president, and chief trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer, described them as providing valuable leverage in the dealmaking.

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

The signing took place on Peña Nieto's final day in office; shortly before the ceremony, he awarded presidential senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor Mexico gives to foreigners.

The deal still needs to be approved by Congress, but Trump said that he doesn't "expect to have much of a problem" getting that accomplished.

Trump first announced the tariffs of 10 percent on aluminum and 25 percent on steel in February, and since then, they have been a point of contention for the two world leaders.

Throughout the start of his presidency, President Trump had repeatedly threatened to withdraw the USA from Nafta, unless he could secure a better deal.

After promising to renegotiate NAFTA on the campaign trail and during his time in the White House, President Trump has delivered.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is aimed at bringing more jobs into the United States, with Canada and Mexico accepting more restrictive commerce with the United States, their main export partner.

Mr Trump also acknowledged Congress had not yet approved the deal.

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





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