Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

NAFTA 2.0 Signed: A Deal for 'The Corporate One Percent'

NAFTA 2.0 Signed: A Deal for 'The Corporate One Percent'

Trudeau also referenced recent downsizing moves by GM in North America as a "heavy blow".

Presidents Donald Trump, Enrique Pena-Nieto and Justin Trudeau signed the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement to replace the 25 year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. It keeps the overwhelming percentage of North American trade tariff-free.

Now that the it has been signed, the agreement will head to Capitol Hill, where Republican lawmakers hope to get it approved before the new Congress takes over in January.

"There's much more work to do in lowering trade barriers and in fostering growth that benefits everyone", Trudeau said. No one has been spared in that trade fight - not even Canada and Mexico, the top two buyers of US goods.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the agreement will help maintain the stability of Canada's economy.

Trudeau said the deal "lifts the risk of serious economic uncertainty that lingers throughout a trade renegotiation process - uncertainty that would have only gotten worse and more damaging if we had not reached a new NAFTA".

"This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever", Trump said at the signing ceremony in Buenos Aires, on the sidelines of a G20 leaders' summit.

The three leaders agreed on a deal in principle to govern the more than trillion dollars of mutual trade after a year and a half of acrimonious negotiations concluded with a late-night bargain just an hour before a deadline on September 30.

Trump has made renegotiating NAFTA a centrepiece of his presidency.

"There's some good signs", Trump said.

Pena Nieto, who will handoff to his successor Saturday, said he was honored to be at the signing on the last day of his administration, saying it is the culmination of a long process "that allow us to overcome differences and to conciliate our visions". But the Canadian government's official website for the trade deal, updated today, puts Canada first in the acronym: CUSMA.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters in the Argentine capital on Friday that the "modest increase" in US dairy access was granted to help reach an agreement that provides the country with the "stability and predictability" of a deal that protects $2-billion a day in cross-border trade. "We think this is simply wrong and frankly, we are very confident we are going to win those legal challenges". "The true reason is rooted in the domestic political situation in the United States", Zakharova added.

TRUMP: "These new provisions will benefit labour, technology and development in each of our nations, leading to much greater growth and opportunity throughout our countries and across North America".

But Trump has argued again this month that those tariffs have fuelled a comeback by the US steel and aluminum industries.

Other documents related to the agreement that were signed include a critical side letter on the automotive sector that could ensure Canada avoids punitive tariffs on its auto exports to the United States if the Trump administration proceeds with threats to begin taxing foreign vehicles and automotive parts at up to 25 per cent.

The deal, hailed by President Trump as a "groundbreaking achievement", includes important reforms in the automotive and agriculture sectors.

"Make no mistake, we will stand up for our workers and fight for their families and their communities", he said, before addressing Trump directly.

That subject is a hot topic, especially as Trump prepares to meet face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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