Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Democrats Pick Apart Trump's New Trade Pact

Democrats Pick Apart Trump's New Trade Pact

But at the joint signing ceremony on Friday in Buenos Aires, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to it as "the new NAFTA", with the Canadian government's website displaying the table of contents for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) - no "trade", and mind the hyphens.

According to Trump, all sides will benefit from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA which he said "is probably the largest trade deal ever made".

Trump is also expected to meet face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina.

The USMCA - which overhauls the rules covering more than $1.2 trillion in regional commerce - faces major hurdles next year in Congress, where Democrats will control the House and may be reluctant to help Trump to fulfill a 2016 campaign promise.

The American-favoured acronym caused some puzzlement in the USA when it was first unveiled on October 1.

The three were still bickering over the finer points of the deal just hours before officials were due to sit down and sign it. We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there.

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. But he also used the ceremony to call on Trump to remove steel and aluminum tariffs the US slapped on Canada and Mexico.

Likewise, Mexican President Pena Nieto said NAFTA "transformed" Mexico a quarter century ago so that 70% of its economy comes from trade.

Adamski said farmers are not being represented and the new agreement won't have an impact.

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"Today in Argentina, the United States is joining Canada and Mexico to sign a new trade agreement that will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses", the White House said.

"Not only have they conceded market access but they have also gone along with the U.S.to ensure we can not be competitive on any world markets where the U.S.is present", said David Wiens, vice-president of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

"With hard work, goodwill, and determination, I'm confident we will get there". He called that aggression "the sole reason" for the cancellation, suggesting that his action had nothing to do with new, damaging developments in the special counsel's investigation of possible collusion between Russian Federation and his 2016 presidential campaign. It's unlikely they'll axe USMCA in Congress, but they may see fit to fiddle with the agreement that keeps getting tweaked.

The agreement includes provisions that allow agriculture products to be traded more fairly.

During the final week of talks, Trump punctuated the tensions during a freewheeling news conference on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly: "We don't like their representative very much", he said, an apparent reference to Freeland. "We might [later], but we had none", the president told reporters.

Canada's dairy lobby urged Trudeau this week not to sign the agreement unless it was changed to give the US less influence over the industry.

Mexican negotiators reportedly desire modifications to limit future metal shipments to the United States to 80 percent of current levels, while Canada is resisting quotas in the face of low-cost steel from China entering the American market. Almost 40 to 45 percent of automobile content must be manufactured by North American high-wage labor in order to gain preferential access to these three markets.

In June this year, Washington introduced a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the EU.

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