Trudeau Calls On Trump to Remove Tariffs at USMCA Signing Ceremony


Trump expressed optimism about getting the deal blessed by USA lawmakers.

The current duty-free threshold is only $20 (Canadian), or about $15 (U.S.).

'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.

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.

The original three-nation North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994, but Trump has vilified it as a awful deal that has fuelled a loss of USA manufacturing jobs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the revamped NAFTA signed today in Buenos Aires provides stability for Canada's economy.

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.

She added that she will vote on the deal only if President Trump revises it.

US tariffs on steel and aluminum remain in place, but a Canadian official said an advantage to signing onto the agreement now is an auto side letter exempting Canada of potential tariffs on exports of up to 2.6 million vehicles - well above current levels.

The new agreement doesn't lift the tariffs on steel and aluminum, with both the Mexican and Canadian governments stating their displeasure that the issue has not yet been solved.

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Trump faces a series of diplomatic challenges over the weekend, most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Xi.

Top US officials were on hand for the signing, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, national security adviser John Bolton and the President's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Even as Trump celebrates the new deal as a win for the country, the agreement still needs to be ratified by the new Congress, where Democrats believe the new deal doesn't protect American workers.

"Unfortunately it's going to be painted as 'See, we've done something, ' and they've actually done little or nothing", Adamski said.

"We've known each other a long while", Trump said, noting he worked with Macri's father on real estate developments.

Under updated side letters released Friday, Canada and Mexico will have the power to "monitor and otherwise administer" how many cars produced by specific companies are protected from tariffs, but will have to "consult" with the United States on this. "I will only support this new deal if we can make it a better deal for Wisconsin farmers, manufacturers, businesses and workers".

The opposition Democrats take control of the House in January. Canada, however, has refused to limit future exports to the US but has pledged to assist the limiting cheap steel imports from China, Eric Miller, president of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, told the Washington Post.

Trudeau and Trump discussed their plans for the G20 summit in a November 27 phone call, according to the White House.

Matt Blunt, the head of the main lobbying group for GM, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, applauded the deal, saying it would keep north American automotive manufacturing competitive and included a first-ever provision to address currency manipulation.

Foreign brand automakers have expressed concerns that the new rules of origin, which require more high-value content be produced in the United States or Canada, will be too burdensome.