Trudeau urges 'Donald' to scrap metals tariffs amid USMCA signing

Mr. Rota goes to Washington

Even as Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto - on his final day in office - prepared to sign the deal on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, officials from the three countries were continuing to haggle over terms for lifting the US tariffs, and details of the signing ceremony were in flux. The agreement includes a new rule, for example, that a vehicle will only be freed from tariffs if 40 per cent or more of its contents are produced by workers earning $16 (U.S.) per hour or more.

Mr Trudeau said the deal was a major step for Canada's economy but warned that there is more work to be done.

"Donald, it's all the more reason why we need to keep working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum between our two countries", Trudeau said.

Mexico's ambassador to the United States, Gerónimo Gutiérrez, told reporters earlier this month that his government expected that there would be "either a solution or a very clear track to a solution" by the time the deal was signed.

The USMCA deal emerged in early October, months after President Trump hit Mexico and Canada with tariffs on their steel and aluminum products.

It also underscores Trump's turn away from the global trade deals his predecessors supported in favor of regional or even one-on-one agreements.

Both Trudeau and Trump have taken criticism over the new agreement.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's other major trade-related meeting during the G20 summit will be with China's leader Xi Jinping on Saturday, with analysts looking for any sign that the U.S. president will hold off on plans to toughen United States tariffs on Chinese imports in January.

'It's been so well reviewed I don't anticipate much of a problem, ' he said.

"A vast number of technical details need to be scrubbed and wrapped up", Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday, the Canadian Press reported.

Friday's signing ceremony is a crowning moment for Trump, who loves to tout his deal-making prowess.

"With our signatures today we will formally declare the intention of our three countries to replace NAFTA with the USMCA".

USA tariffs on steel and aluminum remain in the agreement, something the three sides have been trying to iron out. "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 agreement was signed by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on his last day in office.

The USMCA - which overhauls the rules covering more than $1.2 trillion in regional commerce - faces major hurdles next year in Congress, where Democrats will control the House and may be reluctant to help Trump to fulfill a 2016 campaign promise.



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