Donald Trump, Saudi crown prince have friendly encounter at G-20 summit

Cheryl Sanders
December 1, 2018

Freeland's remarks offer a glimpse into the political and legal heavy lifting set to follow Friday's signing of the trade pact - an agreement reached through hand-wringing negotiations and a ceremony confirmed only at the 11th hour.

Trump ceremoniously signed the new agreement, called the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, in Buenos Aires this morning with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Trump said on Friday that the trade pact was "model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever".

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina President Donald Trump and the leaders of Canada and Mexico signed a revision of the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement early today, but their ceremony did not disguise the tensions remaining or lessen the doubts of whether a new Congress would approve the pact.

One leader who nearly didn't make the photo was outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who ran in at the last minute to a round of applause from the others, waving his hand in apology.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, said that the agreement "lifts the risk of serious economic uncertainty that lingers" during such vast trade...

Trump said he "had no discussion" with the crown prince, but "we might", the official said. However, he lamented the deal doesn't remove tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, urging for more work to be done on this issue.

Mr Trudeau said: "There is much more work to do in lowering trade barriers, but reaching a new trade agreement with the United States of America and Mexico is a major step for the world economy".

USMCA also leaves unresolved the US tariffs on steel and aluminium from Canada and Mexico.

But Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a trade official in Republican President George W. Bush's White House, says: "President Trump has seriously overhyped this agreement".

Trump imposed the duties earlier this year to protect U.S. producers, claiming it is in the United States national security to protect those domestic industries.

Canada and Mexico are the second and third-biggest USA trading partners, each accounting for more than $500 billion in trade per year, nearly rivaling China and the 28 European Union member states combined. Representative Nancy Pelosi, who was nominated this week to lead the caucus as Speaker, said Thursday that she would oppose the deal due to inadequate protections for workers.

"I look forward to working with members of Congress", Trump said, "and I have to say it's been so well-reviewed, I don't expect to have much of a problem to secure the implementation of our agreement".

Nonetheless, the signing concluded an arduous process that was marked by repeated threats from Trump to exit the continent's free-trade zone.

"It's great for all of our countries", Trump said, on a more optimistic note. The deal still needs approval from the three countries' legislatures.

"Our nations have also agreed to innovate new measures to ensure fair competition and promote high wages and higher wages for United States and North American workers, the. workers are tremendous beneficiary".

QPAGOS CEO Gaston Pereira on the Trump administration's USMCA deal with Canada and Mexico and the migrant caravan. The side letters also include deals between the USA and Mexico on biologic drugs, cheese names and auto safety standards; and deals between the us and Canada on wine, water and energy.

But Canada's refusal to sign the deal with the tariffs in place softened this week, said one insider: "At the end of the day, removing the uncertainty from the rest of the economy is too important to pass up".

Other reports by iNewsToday