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US, Canada, Mexico sign trade deal, Trump shrugs off Congress hurdle

US, Canada, Mexico sign trade deal, Trump shrugs off Congress hurdle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will join U.S. President Donald Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to formally sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement early Friday, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit.

"This has been a battle and battles sometimes make great friendships so it's really terrific", Trump said.

While Trump did not mention General Motors' announcement on Tuesday that it would lay off 15 percent of its workers and close five plants in the US and Canada, Trudeau did, calling it a "heavy blow".

At the event, on the sidelines of an global summit opening in Buenos Aires, Trump touted the hard-fought deal as "a truly groundbreaking achievement" and proudly held up the signed agreement for the cameras at the conclusion of a short ceremony.

Despite opposition from Republicans in the U.S. House, President Trump agreed on Friday to an updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that includes aspirational language encouraging member states to adopt policies against LGBT discrimination in the workforce.

The farmers say the final text of the trilateral agreement, announced on September 30 and signed by leaders of the three countries at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, grants the trading partners a say in the running of Canada's dairy system, eroding Canadian sovereignty while giving up new market access. It was not clear until just a day earlier that the ceremony would go through amid ongoing Canadian protests over US-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

On Saturday, he will meet with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to address the trade war triggered by Trump's insistence on China ending what he says have been decades of unfair trade practices.

The original three-nation North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994, but Trump has vilified it as a awful deal that has fuelled a loss of USA manufacturing jobs.

'The new agreement will assure a new prosperity, ' he added.

Canadian President Trudeau, who has had a rocky relationship with Trump, described the agreement as the "new NAFTA".




Trump said he expects the new deal to stop jobs from moving overseas and bring back jobs lost under the original NAFTA.

But Trudeau, who considered not attending the ceremony that Trump was so eager for, refused to play along.

A "North America free trade agreement" was often referred to in coverage in both Canada and the USA well ahead of the October 1992 ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, in which Mexico signed on. All of our countries will benefit greatly. "He believes correctly that they are engaged in very abusive trade practices", Steve Moore, an economist with the Heritage Foundation, told CBN News.

Mexican President Pena Nieto, on his last day in office, called the revamped version of NAFTA important in shoring up "the view of an integrated North America with the firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive".

The signing by the three leaders was a formality - it was the three of them issuing a directive to their trade representatives to finish the final pact. It covers the same three countries as before.

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.

Legislative approval is the next step in the process, but could prove to be a hard task in the United States, especially now that Democrats - instead of Trump's Republicans - will control the House of Representatives come January.

The new agreement requires that 75 percent of each vehicle granted duty-free treatment be made in North America - up from 62.5 percent under NAFTA - and requires a significant amount of manufacturing be performed by workers earning at least $16 an hour.

Tucked in the agreement is a provision that appears created to stop either Canada or Mexico from seeking a better deal with Beijing.

"As it's now written, Trump's deal won't stop the serious and ongoing harm NAFTA causes for American workers".


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