Tariff Tensions Shadow US, Canada, Mexico Trade Pact Signing
The president joined Canadian and Mexican leaders at a global meeting to sign a revised North American trade pact, which will fulfill a longstanding political promise.
President Donald Trump teamed with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact, a deal that fulfills a key political pledge by the American president but faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Congress.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — President Donald Trump teamed up with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact, a deal that fulfills a key political pledge by the American president but faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Congress. The celebratory moment was dimmed by ongoing differences over Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as plans for massive layoffs in the U.S. and Canada by General Motors.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is meant to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has long denigrated as a “disaster.”
Trump appeared with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Group of 20 nations summit in Buenos Aires for the formal signing ceremony. Each country’s legislature must also approve the agreement.
“This has been a battle, and battles sometimes make great friendships, so it’s really terrific,” Trump said of the combative process to overhaul the pact.
Legislative approval is the next step, but could prove to be a difficult task in the United States, especially now that Democrats — instead of Trump’s Republicans — will control the House of Representatives come January. Democrats and their allies in the labor movement are already demanding changes to the agreement.
Within hours of the signing, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the deal must have stronger labor and environmental protections in order to get majority support in Congress and “must prove to be a net benefit to middle-class families and working people.”