Donald Trump signs USMCA with Mexico and Canada at G-20

Some USMCA details still being finalized, Freeland says

After a protracted and tenuous negotiation period, leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico officially agreed on a revised trade pact Friday - but the one thing they seem unable to settle on is what the agreement should be called.

U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday-a deal some lawmakers and advocacy groups say is still fundamentally flawed as it stomps on the rights of workers and the environment and empowers "the corporate one percent at the expense of the rest of us".

Legislators from all three countries still have to ratify it.

Replacing the NAFTA fulfills a top campaign promise by Mr. Trump, who called the 1994 agreement the "worst deal ever made" that hastened the demise of USA manufacturing.

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Among other things, the agreement also lengthens copyrights for creative works and patent protection for certain sophisticated medicines, slightly opens up the protected Canadian dairy industry to USA access and eliminates the long-controversial "Chapter 11" provision between Canada and the US allowing investors to sue governments for allegedly violating their rights.

The U.S. continues to push for a quota in exchange for lifting the tariffs on Canada and Mexico, which have applied their own retaliatory levies.

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.

'The Prime Minister and the President agreed that the new trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico would enhance North American competitiveness, ' his office said of the call.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks to media on the roof of the Panamericano Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 29, 2018.

"This is an incredible deal for our farmers and also allows them to use cutting edge biotechnology and eliminates non-scientific barriers". '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'.

"Uncertainty that would only have got worse if we had not reached a new NAFTA".

Trudeau also brought up the recent announcement by General Motors that the company will be closing several factories in both the USA and Canada, calling it a "heavy blow".

"Battles sometimes make great friendships", Trump said.

Nieto spoke after Trudeau. "It's been long and hard and we have taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse and we got there, it's great for all of our countries".

On his final day as Mexico's president before Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is sworn in on Saturday, Pena Nieto said the trade agreement includes provisions for e-commerce and information technology.



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