Organizations urge Trudeau to pass on signing USMCA

02 December, 2018, 15:33 | Author: Angel Logan
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Trump called the measure the "largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history", during his remarks with Trudeau and Nieto.

A new trilateral trade deal was sealed on Friday by US President Donald Trump, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto. It was signed almost 25 years after the North American Free Trade Agreement first came into effect.

The new agreement must be ratified by the parliaments in each of the three countries in order to take effect. And Trump is facing a House of Representatives controlled by the Democrats.

The chapter on agriculture in the deal has reportedly not alleviated the Canadian agriculture industry's fear that the United States strong-armed its way to getting more than Canada meant to give up, according to a Canadian newspaper report.

United States objections to Canada's protected internal market for dairy products was a major challenge facing negotiators during the talks, and Trump repeatedly demanded concessions and accused Canada of hurting USA farmers.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Dairy Farmers of Canada warn the PM that the current text of the new USMCA agreement contains a provision that would grant the U.S. oversight into the administration of the Canadian dairy system, something they claim will undermine Canadian sovereignty.

The deal's completion lifts the economic uncertainty created by the acrimonious 15-month negotiation process, an uncertainty that "only would have gotten worse" had the parties not reached a new agreement, Trudeau said at the signing ceremony.

Trudeau said he attended the ceremony because the agreement maintains stability for Canada's economy and removes the dangers associated with Trump's threat to withdraw the United States from NAFTA. A senior White House official later said Trump and bin Salman exchanged pleasantries during a subsequent leaders' session.

So important. I'm honored to be here with president Enrique Peña Nieto, become a great friend of Mexico, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has also become a great friend.

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. On his last day in office, he said the new deal was forged with the "firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive". The new deal replaced the much-debated NAFTA agreement. Coming into this G-20, he faces a series of diplomatic challenges - most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease trade tensions that have rattled financial markets. "The true reason is rooted in the domestic political situation in the United States", Zakharova added.

The U.S. will continue tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and Mexico's retaliatory tariffs on many U.S. agricultural products will also remain.

For the record, the document's preamble refers to an "Agreement between the United States of America, the United Mexican States and Canada". We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there.

On Friday, Trump opened the day with a cordial meeting at the Casa Rosada with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, a longtime business acquaintance.

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