President Donald Trump signed the USMCA trade agreement on Friday, with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Enrique…
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the new US-Mexico Canada Agreement – or USMCA – in Buenos Aires on Friday, in the light of the G20 Summit to resolve a conflict between the United States and its nearest neighbors.
“Let’s go” said all three leaders as they sat next to each other to sign multiple copies of the deal.
They then mixed binders around them, to complete the deal that reproduces one of the world’s largest free trade zones. When the signature was over, they stopped for a photo-up. “It may also happen,” said Trump, presenting the fresh signatures that the three leaders sat together. But Trudeau chose not to accompany his peers when he held up his binder to celebrate – a sign of perhaps the long-lasting effects of the disputed process triggered when Trump introduced tariffs in Mexico and Canada earlier this year.
“This has been a fight, and fighting sometimes makes great friendships,” said Trump at the beginning of the signatory ceremony.
To say that all three countries will benefit from the deal, Trump said about the USMCA: “It is probably the largest trade deal ever made.”
USMCA (read the entire text here) replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had created a free trade zone between the three countries back in 1994. The deal will require ratification of all three countries’ legislators before they come into force.
The signature event and the reader’s remarks are lively. You can watch the event here.
The USMCA agreement arose in early October, months after President Trump met Mexico and Canada with charges on its steel and aluminum products. It is about replacing tariffs and intensive negotiations to create a new trade pact.
The announcement of the “New North American Free Trade Agreement”, Trudeau said, “raises the risk of serious economic uncertainty under a trade negotiation, uncertainty that would only have been worse and more harmful if we had not reached a new NAFTA. “
There is more work to do, Trudeau said and called the latest announcement that General Motors will close plants in Canada and the USA” a heavy blow. “
Turning to Trump said,” And Donald, that’s the more reason we have to continue working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum between our countries. “
When it was his turn to speak, Peña Nieto said that the trade agreement contains provisions for e-commerce and information technology – topics that he said necessitated updating NAFTA.
” In fact, one-third of the agreement contains topics which was not included in the first agreement, “he said.
Peña Nieto also said the USMCA” is the first trade agreement that contains elements that deal with the social impact of social trade. It allows for the participation of several sectors in the economy. “
Among the provisions, he says that it is the protection of workers’ rights and the environment and elements aimed at extending the benefits of free trade more generally.
The signing took place on Peña Nieto’s last day of service shortly before the ceremony was awarded he president’s senior advisor and Trumps son-in-law Jared Kushner with Aztec Eagle, the highest honor Mexico gives foreigners.
move “shocked many in Mexico” as NPR Carrie Kahn reported earlier this week.
Later on Friday, Trump will turn turn to another high profile trade crisis when he is having dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping.