New pact signed to replace NAFTA

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sign the new trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday Nov. 30 2018

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sign the new trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday Nov. 30 2018

The agreement has been losing support in recent days as Democratic lawmakers, ready to take control of the House in January, reckon with fallout from the announcement last week that General Motors was planning to idle five plants in North America. But he said he could support it with a "few tweaks that move it in the direction of a more pro-trade agreement".

A vote in Congress probably won't happen before next March or April and could possibly be delayed as late as next fall, said Ujczo, who works for the law firm of Dickinson Wright and closely followed trade talks of the three countries. That time, Trump nodded a bigger nod and looked directly at Trudeau. He opted not to hold up the agreement to showcase the leaders' signatures.

The new trade pact was precipitated by Trump's decision to get rid of the original NAFTA, which he's called the "worst trade deal" ever signed.

"The auto industry is the most important part of the agreement; it's where most of the trade takes place".

Trump had made the repeal of Nafta a key plank of his 2016 presidential campaign.

While Mr Trump hailed the revised trade pact, Mr Trudeau was more measured, saying there was still work to be done and calling on Mr Trump - using his first name - to remove steel and aluminium tariffs the United States imposed on Canada and Mexico.

"Donald, it's all the more reason why we need to keep working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum between our countries", the Canadian leader said at the ceremony.

USA 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.

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, has argued that the new requirements for auto production actually restrict trade and that the administration should lift the tariffs on steel and aluminum. "We'll see what happens".

It replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) which came into force in 1994.

Kushner effusively praised Pena Nieto, saying he "put Mexican interests first even when it wasn't popular".

Foreign brand automakers have expressed concerns that the new rules of origin, which require more high-value content be produced in the United States or Canada, will be too burdensome.

The events preceded the opening of the first full day of the Group of 20 Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the world's most developed nations.

Reaching an agreement to remove the steel and aluminum duties - as well as those Canada and Mexico imposed in retaliation on billions of dollars worth of agricultural and other products - is likely to be a vital step before the new NAFTA will be approved.

In a letter released Thursday, the Dairy Farmers of Canada warned that the text of the deal gives the US too much say over how the Canadian system is managed, and urged the government to stand down until that provision is excised.

As the many leaders gathered for the traditional "family photo" as the summit began, Trump kept his distance from the two controversial autocrats, who greeted each other with grins and an exaggerated handshake, appearing to revel before the cameras in their shared notoriety. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the crown prince's situation. Trump had told lawmakers he would veto any bill that did not include $5 billion for a southern border wall, raising the prospect of a partial government shutdown.

Mr Trump, who arrived in Buenos Aires late on Thursday, barrelled into the two-day meeting by announcing via Twitter that he was cancelling a planned meeting with Mr Putin over Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels. 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.

Trump's announcement, which came shortly after he agreed to hold off on new tariffs against China in face-to-face negotiations with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, is also meant to emphasize his tough stance on trade as he softens his posture with Beijing. Canada's dairy farmers feel they are being unfairly whacked by new rules that will give USA producers more access to the Canadian market.

"The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well", she said.

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