President Donald Trump proudly announced on Monday that the United States, Canada and Mexico have entered into a “historic” trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, thus fulfilling a major campaign promise.
“I’m thrilled to speak to the American people to share truly historic news for our nation, and indeed for the world,” Trump said in a Rose Garden announcement from the White House.
“It is my great honor to announce we have successfully completed negotiations on a brand new deal to terminate and replace NAFTA … with an incredible new U.S., Mexico, Canada agreement called USMCA,” he added.
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“I have long contended that NAFTA is perhaps the worst trade deal ever made. Since NAFTA’s adoption, the U.S. racked up trade deficits totaling more than $2 trillion,” Trump said.
The president further stated that since NAFTA took effect in January 1994 (under then-President Bill Clinton), the U.S. has lost 4.1 million manufacturing jobs, and 1 in 4 jobs in the auto industry.
“Throughout the campaign, I had promised to renegotiate NAFTA and today we have kept that promise,” Trump said.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 1, 2018
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The president specifically singled out U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for his tireless work in negotiating the new deal, which Trump said will govern $1.2 trillion in trade, making it the biggest deal in U.S. history.
He tweeted about the accomplishment on Monday morning, writing, “Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico.”
Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2018
“The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA,” Trump added. “It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world. The USMCA is a historic transaction!”
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Politico reported that concessions made by Canada include lowering barriers to U.S. dairy and other farm products entering the country, as well as putting a cap on auto exports into the United States.
“In exchange, Canada was able to preserve dispute-settlement language. Canada has historically insisted on an international panel to judge whether the U.S. improperly uses duties as a commercial weapon,” according to Politico.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went on Twitter Sunday to call the agreement “a good day for Canada.”
Trump thanked both Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“I have to certainly give my highest regards to Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau,” Trump said. “Lot of stories came out about Justin and I having difficulty together. We did over the trade deal. But I tell you, it’s turned out to be a very, very good deal for both. And a very, very good deal for all three.”
Regarding Mexico’s Nieto, the president said in a light-hearted tone, “We had a few disagreements, but I really like him a lot. I think he may like me, I’m not sure… but he’s really done a good job. Wonderful, wonderful person.”
Congress must approve the USMCA in order for it to take effect. The Washington Post reported that if the Democrats retake control the House in November, it could place the new agreement in jeopardy.
“Fixing NAFTA means increasing the paychecks of American workers, delivering real, enforceable labor standards, ensuring fairness for American agriculture, and recognizing the connection between economic growth and environmental protections,” House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat, said in a statement.
“Democrats will closely scrutinize the text of the Trump administration’s NAFTA proposal, and look forward to further analyses and conversations with stakeholders,” she added.
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