Trump signs new trade deal with Canada and Mexico

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sign the new trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday Nov. 30 2018

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

While Trump hailed the revised trade pact, Trudeau was more measured and used the event to call on Trump to remove the steel and aluminium tariffs the USA slapped on Canada and Mexico.

The next step is for the deal to be ratified by the legislatures in all three countries.

But the USA landscape will shift significantly in January when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, after winning midterm elections in November.

The chapter on agriculture in the deal has reportedly not alleviated the Canadian agriculture industry's fear that the United States strong-armed its way to getting more than Canada meant to give up, according to a Canadian newspaper report. No one has been spared in that trade fight - not even Canada and Mexico, the top two buyers of USA goods.

"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.

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The accord - called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) - requires 75 percent of auto content to be made in the NAFTA region, up from the current level of 62.5 percent, a move that would make it hard for automakers to use parts produced outside the three countries.

As late as Thursday night questions remained on whether the signing would take place after the ceremony didn't appear on Trudeau's official schedule and he told reporters Canada is "still in discussions with the Americans" about the deal before he left for Buenos Aires.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was open to the trade deal but wanted to see more worker and environmental protections in it.

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

Mr Pena Nieto, who will be replaced on Saturday with Mexico's newly-elected president, has sold the deal to his people as a victory, saving free trade from a USA president who wanted to see it killed.

Today marks an important deadline for the trade pact.

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Mr. Trump has said US intelligence reports on the crime don't establish conclusively whether the crown prince was involved in planning the murder or knew about it in advance. The US President claimed the update "changes the trade landscape forever".

Both Trudeau and Trump have taken criticism over the new agreement. Coming into this G-20, he faces a series of diplomatic challenges - most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease trade tensions that have rattled financial markets. The celebratory moment was dimmed by ongoing differences over Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as plans for massive layoffs in the USA and Canada by General Motors.

"Make no mistake, we will stand up for our workers and fight for their families and their communities", he said, before addressing Trump directly.

The deal - 32 chapters, 11 annexes and 12 side letters - sets new rules for the auto sector, including a higher threshold for North American content and rules requiring that 40 per cent of vehicle parts be made by workers paid at least $16 an hour.

Before Trump arrived in Argentina he injected additional drama into the proceedings by canceling another high-stakes meeting, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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

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