Trump announces ‘termination’ of NAFTA

US President Donald Trump announced Aug. 27 that the US and Mexico have reached an agreement on a new trade deal called the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement, which will ultimately terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While sitting at the resolute desk, Trump called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to announce the new pact, which Trump described as “a really good deal for both countries [and] something that is very special for our manufacturers and farmers.” Among a number of changes to NAFTA, both parties agreed to a provision that would require a significant portion of vehicles to be made in high-wage factories, a measure aimed to discourage factory jobs from leaving the US. Peña Nieto agreed with Trump while on speaker phone, stating, “I think this is something very positive for the United States and Mexico.” The Mexican president further stated that he wanted Canada to be involved in the agreement.

Trump said that he is in communication with Canada about a new trade deal, but he is unsure if it will be part of the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement. “We’re starting negotiations with Canada pretty much immediately,” said Trump. “I can’t tell you where these negotiations will go… But one way or another we have to deal with Canada. It will either be a tariff on cars or a negotiated deal.”

The Trump administration plans to submit a letter to Congress this week, and the president expects the new pact to be signed by the end of November.

From Jurist, Aug. 27. Used with permission.

Map: CIA

  1. US, Canada agree to replace NAFTA with new trade deal

    The US and Canada signed a new trade deal Oct. 1 to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) includes 34 chapters and contains new tariff schedules, labor standards, and updated settlements and protections on textiles, agriculture, and digital trade. It was written to last at least 16 years with review for renewal to take place every six years. In a press release, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "the agreement-in-principle we reached today is good for Canada, good for Canadian businesses, and most importantly, good for Canadian workers and their families." (Jurist)

    The Citizens Trade Campaign rejected the new pact as extending "special rights" to corporate polluters and "handouts" to oil and gas companies. The statement notes that the text of the new treaty fails to even mention climate change.

  2. Mexico, Canada, US sign NAFTA replacement agreement

    Leaders of the Mexican, Canadian and US governments signed a new trade deal on Nov. 30 that affects more than $1.2 trillion in regional commerce and is set to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    From the G20 Summit in Argentina, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (on his last day in office) presented the agreement known as the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

    The USMCA includes 34 chapters, including new ones covering digital trade, intellectual property, anti-corruption and regulatory practices, and it contains new tariff schedules, labor laws and rules on which products can legally be imported or exported, including updated settlements and protections on textiles, agriculture and digital trade.

    Trudeau has been referring to the deal as "the new NAFTA," despite Trump's heavy criticism of NAFTA.

    In a White House press release, Trump said "This new deal will be the most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country, with the most advanced protections for workers ever developed." (Jurist)

  3. Mexico, Canada, US sign revised trade agreement
    Representatives of Canada, Mexico and the US signed a draft of a revised United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) Dec. 10 that will replace NAFTA.

    The USMCA is intended to increase protection of US automobile industry and add 28,000 jobs in the industry over six years, requiring 75% of a vehicle’s parts to be made in one of the three countries.

    Compared to the previous version of the USNCA signed last November, the renegotiated deal seeks to provide tougher enforcement of labor standards and lower costs for biologic drugs by eliminating a patent exclusivity provision.

    President Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO said in a statement, “For the first time, there truly will be enforceable labor standards—including a process that allows for the inspections of factories and facilities that are not living up to their obligations.”

    Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi praised the new USMCA as “better than the original version and NAFTA.”

    NAFTA currently remains in effect until a Congressional vote on an implementing bill. The Senate is unlikely to start the ratification process until 2020, after a potential impeachment trial. (Jurist)

  4. US House approves US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement
    In its last vote of the year, the US House of Representatives voted 385-41 Dec. 19 to pass Trump’s revised North American trade agreement. The new agreement, called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if the Senate approves it. (Jurist)

  5. EU and Mexico finalize trade agreement

    The EU and Mexico announced April 28 that they have concluded a trade agreement four years in the making. The most prominent feature of the new trade agreement, explains a European Commission memo, is the removal of import customs and duties between Mexico and EU member states. The new agreement replaces the 1997 EU-Mexico Trade Agreement. It removes many commodities tariffs such as those that apply to milk, cheese and pork. Additionally, the new agreement reinforces hygiene standards, institutes new trademark protections and focuses especially on fair trade conditions.

    Mexico is the EU’s second-largest trading partner in Latin America, after Brazil, and is responsible for €66 billion in products and services each year. Furthermore, 400,000 Mexican employees are employed by European firms. (Jurist)