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President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference to discuss a revised U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. and Canadian officials announced late Sunday night that a new deal, named the ‘U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,’ or USMCA, had been reached to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
President Donald Trump heralded a new trade deal struck late Sunday night as “a new dawn” for the U.S. auto industry.
struck a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with a new trilateral pact called the USMCA, for United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Trump said that negotiations with Canada, which continued about for about a month after the U.S. announced a deal with Mexico in August, had led to “very strong tensions” between himself and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump said those tensions had relaxed at “about 12 o’clock last night.”
The Rose Garden speech was also peppered with criticisms for Democrats, as well as international trading partners such as China and the European Union, who Trump said have treated the U.S. “so unfairly.”
Trump, a strong advocate for protectionist trade policies, credited his tariff proposals for the success of the deal. “Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be talking about a deal, just for the babies out there that keep talking about tariffs,” Trump said.
Trump also expressed optimism that the trade deal would pass a vote in Congress, but added that “if it doesn’t, we have lots of other alternatives.”
Early Monday morning, Trump tweeted his congratulations to Mexico and Canada and praised the agreement as a “great deal.” The new trade pact was forged during several months of contentious negotiations.
Markets applauded the development. The Dow Jones industrial average surged more than 260 points in late-morning trade.
Among the details in the agreement are requirements for 75 percent of auto content to be made in North America, up from 62.5 percent, and for 40 to 45 percent of that auto content to be made by workers making at least $16 an hour.
The three nations still need to sign the deal, which is expected before the end of November. Congress also needs to approve USMCA, which might not happen this year given the post-election lame-duck session and other pressing issues, such as keeping the government funded.
Trump said Monday that he “just spoke” with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, as well as Trudeau. The U.S. will send the new agreement to the two trading partners by the end of November before passing it along to Congress, Trump said.
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