Trump Threatens to Kill NAFTA - Again

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U.S. President Donald Trump said late Saturday that he would quickly withdraw the United States from the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in an attempt to force Congress to approve a revised version of the pact.

Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto signed the new U.S. -Canada-Mexico Agreement - USMCA, although the federal government in Ottawa has rechristened it CUSMA - during an awkward ceremony at the outset of G20 meetings Friday in Argentina.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Canada takes seriously comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump about withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Though the CUSFTA did not include rules on intellectual property nor the specific commitments on investment and services contained in NAFTA, it did allow for tariff-free access to the US market. The move seems to be aimed at the new Democratic House, which will take over next year - and may not approve the USMCA.

"Revamping the new trade agreement was aimed to preserve the view of an integrated North America with the firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive", he said in remarks translated from Spanish. During this period, Congress will be required to make the choice of whether or not to accept the new deal.

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In a hearing held mid-November, John Bozzella, president of the Association of Global Automakers, said the new agreement could hurt the industry. "The deal eliminates Canada's unfair Class 6 and Class 7 milk pricing schemes, opens additional access to US dairy into Canada, and imposes new disciplines on Canada's supply management system", Perdue said. MacNaughton said Canadian diplomats will rev up their machine to lobby members of Congress for their support. "NFU urges Congress to ensure the administration negotiates improvements to USMCA to create a fair trade framework that benefits family farmers, ranchers and rural communities". "I'm hopeful that it will", Senator Sherrod Brown answered.

President Trump said he will give Congress an ultimatum on the USMCA deal.

"We don't yet have a specific agreement on that, but I will just tell you, as an involved participant, we expect those tariffs to go to zero", he said.

Although the three country leaders agreed to the new terms, lawmakers in each country still need to ratify the deal. "But what isn't in it yet is enough enforcement reassurances regarding provisions that relate to workers and to the environment", she said.

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