Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Trump will terminate NAFTA to press Dems into approving new trade deal

Trump will terminate NAFTA to press Dems into approving new trade deal

Ag groups responded to the U.S., Mexico, and Canada signing the updated North American Free Trade Agreement, called the USMCA.

National Farmers Union (NFU) said that while USMCA makes important improvements over NAFTA, the deal now does not go far enough to institute a fair trade framework that benefits family farmers and ranchers and restores sovereignty to the US.

Trump is obviously applying pressure to the soon-to-be Democrat-dominated Congress to cave in and give him his trade deal victory, but cancelling NAFTA could actually backfire. Grassley vowed to usher the deal through Congress, saying it'll benefit the US economy and bolster agriculture interests in the Midwest.

The Democrats, who say the USMCA has some shortcomings, take control of the U.S. House of Representatives next month.

Brown gave his take on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. But this time, Trump's take-it-or-leave-it scenario was directed at the newly elected Democratic Congress: Approve the USMCA or have no deal at all.

Shortly after Friday's signing, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer insisted that the deal was negotiated with bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans, and expressed confidence it would survive the congressional approval process.

Trump has made renegotiating NAFTA a centerpiece of his presidency. He cited concerns about a provision that might lead to the deal expiring, and new rules he said would limit Mexico's ability to sell cars and auto parts.

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Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., a prominent free-trade advocate, said in an interview that he could not support the agreement as drafted because he believes it would diminish trade across the continent.

USMCA will govern more than $1tn worth of trade between the countries.

Trump told reporters the trade rules before NAFTA "work very well".

"As a result, I owe it to New Mexicans to apply the highest level of scrutiny to this agreement to make sure that our border communities won't suffer the consequences of the administration's flawed negotiations". Ms Pelosi described the deal on Friday as a "work in progress" her members could not yet support.

"Make no mistake, we will stand up for our workers and fight for their families and their communities", he said.

Although the three country leaders agreed to the new terms, lawmakers in each country still need to ratify the deal.

"What isn't in it yet are enough enforcement reassurances regarding workers" and the environment, she told a press conference. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted on Friday that the deal as drafted would put Florida's seasonal vegetable growers "out of business".

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