ibusinesslines.com December 17, 2018

Trump signs new trade deal with Canada and Mexico

30 November 2018, 06:27 | Kelvin Horton

Trump signs new trade deal with Canada and Mexico

Mr. Rota goes to Washington

Canada will put pen to paper on its new trade pact with the USA and Mexico on Friday, even though officials were still combing through the fine print Thursday.

A Mexican source said that "the legal review, translations and collation of documents are being concluded", but ruled out important changes.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed the signing late Thursday after a day of some uncertainty, with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland saying there were still details to be finalized before the three countries could formally sign the "massive" deal.

And even as Trump, Trudeau and Peña Nieto - on his final day in office -signed the accord on the sidelines of the summit, officials from the three countries continued to haggle over terms for lifting USA tariffs, according to The Washington Post.

"This has been a battle, and battles sometimes make great friendships", Trump said at the beginning of the signing ceremony.

As the G20 summit began in Argentina on Friday, the United States president told reporters that the deal "changes the trade landscape forever".

In June this year, Washington introduced a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the EU.

There is no formal meeting between Trump and Trudeau on either leader's schedule for the Friday and Saturday summit.

During the final week of talks, Trump punctuated the tensions during a freewheeling news conference on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly: "We don't like their representative very much", he said, an apparent reference to Freeland.

USA tariffs on steel and aluminum remain in the agreement, something the three sides have been trying to iron out.

"This new agreement will ensure a future of prosperity and innovation for Mexico, Canada and the United States", the president said.

'A vast number of technical details need to be scrubbed and wrapped up, ' Freeland said.

The deal emerged in early October, months after Trump hit Mexico and Canada with tariffs on their steel and aluminum products - a move set off retaliatory tariffs and negotiations to create a new trade pact. 'The fact that this is an agreement in three languages adds to the level of technical complexity and it is on that level that we are just being sure that all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed'.

Renegotiating Nafta was a key pledge of Mr Trump's 2016 White House campaign.

"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", President Trump released in a statement.

Trudeau's readout on the same call also mentioned lifting the tariffs the US imposed on steel and aluminum. 'The Prime Minister also reinforced the importance of both countries lifting the tariffs on steel and aluminum'.

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