North American leaders sign NAFTA replacement deal

Devin Lawrence
December 5, 2018

The expiration of the United States' participation in this trade deal, according to the President, will happen in a short period of time, although as part of the agreement, countries must give a six month notice prior to their withdrawal.

"Just so you understand, when I do that - if for any reason we're unable to make a deal because of Congress then Congress will have a choice" of the new deal or returning to trade rules from before 1994 when NAFTA took effect, he said.

Trump is obviously applying pressure to the soon-to-be Democrat-dominated Congress to cave in and give him his trade deal victory, but cancelling NAFTA could actually backfire. "It allows Mexico to dump government-subsidized produce on the USA market".

Indeed, the USMCA is facing resistance from Congressional Democrats who have criticized the strength and enforceability of the new deal's labour and environmental standards. Sherrod Brown rejected the president's new trade deal with Mexico and Canada on Sunday, expressing concerns over the outsourcing of American jobs. However, it doesn't go far enough to institute a fair-trade framework that benefits family farmers and ranchers and restores USA sovereignty. "The agreement's been signed", Lighthizer said to reporters Friday after the new accord was signed at the Group of 20 summit in in Buenos Aires.

The new deal also requires legislative approval in Canada and Mexico.

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"We had an exchange of notes with the Americans that said if something happens with the NAFTA, the FTA would come back into being", said John Weekes, Canada's chief negotiator on the original deal.

"As it stands, this agreement has not earned the support of America's working families", he said in a statement. I think everyone, almost everybody, whether they have an R or a D after their name, realizes this is important for the economy and certainly for trucking. NFU president Roger Johnson wants changes before Congress ratifies the agreement. All those tariffs remain in place despite the signing of the USMCA, much to the displeasure of both Canadian and Mexican governments. "But what isn't in it yet is enough enforcement reassurances regarding provisions that relate to workers and to the environment", she said.

Canada and Mexico in turn retaliated with tariffs against the United States.

Rubio's office said Monday that the senator had asked Lightizer to look into additional trade actions to protect Florida growers, and that Lighthizer had committed to requesting a fact-finding investigation and taking corrective action.

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