Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

A close look at Trump's claims on trade deal

A close look at Trump's claims on trade deal

A particular sore point for the Canadian prime minister are the United States tariffs on steel and aluminium imposed earlier this year and he said these should be removed.

The USMCA covers such areas as tariffs, automobile industry, the intellectual property rights, labour standards, protection of the environment and agriculture and would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Legislative bodies from each of the nations still need to approve the deal, called the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

The United Steelworkers union, which also organizes tire workers, said the signing of the USMCA was "an important milestone", but only a first step in the effort to reform NAFTA. US intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince must have at least known of the plot to kill Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi royal family.

It was not clear until just a day earlier that the ceremony would go through amid ongoing Canadian protests over US-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

"Battles sometimes make great friendships", Trump said.


NAFTA was signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States in 1993 and came into force in 1994, during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

While Trump spoke positively of the agreement during the signing ceremony, Trudeau reiterated his calls for Trump to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada. But he said he could support it with a "few tweaks that move it in the direction of a more pro-trade agreement".

Trump since his campaign had called NAFTA the worst trade deal in history, though much of it is carried over in the new version.

"It is really an incredible way to end a presidency", Trump said to Pena Nieto, promoting applause from the Mexican officials in the audience.

Pena Nieto, who will hand off to his successor Saturday, said he was honoured to be at the signing on the final day of his administration, calling it the culmination of a long process "that allow us to overcome differences and to conciliate our visions".

They 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 hailed it as "one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in USA and World History" on Twitter shortly after the signing ceremony.

With an early tweet, Trump defended the continued negotiations by his private company over a proposed luxury tower in Moscow while he was running for president in 2016, saying it was "very legal & very cool".

"We've known each other a long while", Trump said, noting he worked with Macri's father on real estate developments.

Although the United States has federal laws barring discrimination on the basis of sex and courts are increasingly interpreting them to bar anti-LGBT discrimination, no explicit federal law is in place against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. He added later: "We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there". ME companies mostly dodged Canadian tariffs imposed this summer in retaliation for the steel and aluminum taxes.

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

But some senior Democratic leaders have expressed concern that those new provisions aren't enforceable, including Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, who's set to take over the House Ways and Means Committee next year.


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