Trump to kill old NAFTA

Gladys Abbott
December 4, 2018

President Trump said he will shortly terminate NAFTA, a move that will force House Democrats to approve a new trade deal signed with Mexico and Canada or be left without any agreement.

"I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly", the president said.

At a separate event in New York, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Canada takes seriously comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump about withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement, the older treaty the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is to replace.

Trump says the new pact - known in Washington as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) - will help US workers, especially in the auto industry, and better safeguard intellectual property.

Trump hailed it as "one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in USA and World History" on Twitter shortly after the signing ceremony.

A number of Democrats in Congress, empowered by their new majority in the House of Representatives, say they don't like the new agreement in its current form, warning it will require more stringent enforcement mechanisms for new labour rules and protections for the environment in order to win their support.

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"As it stands, this agreement has not earned the support of America's working families", he said in a statement.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of OH says the US needs to reopen discussions with Mexico and Canada on trade.

The original NAFTA deal was signed in 1992 by former President George H.W. Bush. But with Democrats taking over the House of Representatives in January, the president could have an upward battle to get the new deal cleared.

"I think we should see if we can get it passed first", Republican Senator John Barrasso said on NBC News' Meet the Press Sunday.

The United Auto Workers, a longtime critic of NAFTA, raised similar concerns after the ceremonial signing of the trade pact in Buenos Aires.

The ambassador said he's pleased that a side letter to the treaty assures Canada that no similar tariffs can be applied to cars made in Canada and exported to the United States.

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