Economy

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

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

Since Donald Trump's election in 2016, he has been calling on NAFTA's signatories to renegotiate the deal, in the hopes of reaching a more advantageous agreement.

Throughout the start of his presidency, President Trump had repeatedly threatened to withdraw the United States from Nafta, unless he could secure a better deal. With a new deal on the table that's supposed to represent a new era of tariff-free trade, all three countries have been working on resolving the standoff before Friday. "The new NAFTA preserves tariff-free access in the North American trading bloc and secures essential cross-border supply chains that make North America more globally competitive" said the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Trudeau made a personal plea to Trump during the ceremony to get rid of the tariffs, saying the recent closures of auto plants by General Motors in the United States and Canada made it more important.

But the path to Friday's signing has been bruising, and those sore spots will be impossible to ignore when the three countries' leaders gather to talk trade for the first time since 13 months of talks culminated in an 11th-hour agreement late in September. In the US, as Politico notes, that could mean "months of fierce debate between the Trump administration and Congress".

A new Mexican president takes over on Saturday, who might not honour the tentative deal struck by his predecessor. "The fact that this is an agreement in three languages adds to the level of technical complexity and it is on that level that we are just being sure that all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed".

The new agreement is to be known as the USMCA (U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement) in U.S. law and CUSMA (with Canada first) in Canadian law.

He called the signing a "very historic occasion" and noted the trade deal was one that would be the 'envy of nations all around the world'.

Top U.S. officials were on hand for the signing ceremony, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, national security adviser John Bolton and the President's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

- President Trump opened two days of diplomacy at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Friday after his abrupt decision to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin overshadowed the proceedings before they even started.

Mexico has also agreed to labor reforms, while Canada agreed to increase market access for US "dairy products, eggs, and poultry".

Trudeau and Trump discussed their plans for the G20 summit in a November 27 phone call, according to the White House.

Asked Thursday why the two had no meeting scheduled, Trump said: "I would have met with him but we didn't set that one up". "Now, it is gone-at least between Canada and the U.S".



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