USMCA deal signing – the divergent opinions of the leaders
On November 30, 2018, the last day of the mandate of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in Buenos Aires, in the framework of the G20.
“The USMCA is the largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history… All of our countries will benefit greatly. It is probably the largest trade deal ever made, also” said Donald Trump of the new agreement.
For his part, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau said that “much more work to do, in lowering trade barriers and in fostering growth that benefits everyone” and showed his dissatisfaction about steel and aluminum tariffs: “Donald, it’s all the more reason why we need to keep working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum between our countries “said Trudeau.
Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico at the time of signing, said that the negotiation of the T-MEC “allowed reaffirming the importance of the economic integration of North America” and gave it a “renewed face”.
The trade agreement, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), must still be ratified by the Congresses of Canada, the United States, and Mexico so that it can enter into force.
What is the position of the new government of Mexico? Apparently Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico, seeks to maintain the agreement as it was negotiated and expects a ratification of it by the Mexican Congress. Luz María de la Mora, head of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy said: “We will be pending for the agreement to be ratified as negotiated.”
In the United States Congress, the new configuration between Democrats and Republicans may generate some tension that jeopardizes the ratification of the new agreement. President Donald Trump announced that he will take the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with the objective of pressuring Congress to support the ratification of the USMCA as negotiated by him.
U.S. State Department photo by Ron Przysucha / Public Domain