Trump to sign renegotiated NAFTA deal with Mexico; AFL-CIO weighs in

UPDATE — 9/14, 12:09 p.m. EDT: Speaking at a private GOP fundraiser Wednesday, President Trump reportedly told donors his administration plans to rename NAFTA as the “USMC” agreement, or “USM” if Canada does not agree to amendments made by the U.S. and Mexico.

According to sources who attended the meeting, Trump is particularly offended by Canada’s imposition of 200 percent tariffs on some American dairy products.


On Friday, the White House notified Congress of its intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico in late November to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

After talks unraveled Friday, the White House is still negotiating with Canada, as Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is scheduled to land in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to discuss her country joining the renegotiated agreement.

Ms. Freeland stated to the press late last week:

“We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach and that’s what we’re working toward.”

Trump has long been critical of NAFTA and has favored overhauling the trade pact since taking office in 2017.

Talks between Canada and U.S. broke down over issues such as the Canadian dairy market and America’s effort to shield drug companies from generic drug competition.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry released a statement as well saying the White House’s notice to Congress is a “step forward in the formalization of the understandings reached by Mexico and the U.S. in relation to NAFTA” and that Mexico will continue to follow U.S.-Canada bilateral talks and participate when needed for trilateral topics.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka responded to the news Sunday saying that while the union conglomerate wants to have NAFTA reworked, a deal that only includes the U.S. and Mexico is “unfeasible,” due to the “integrated” economies of all three nations.

The White House’s notification to Congress begins a 90-day process to rework the trade deal before Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto leaves office on Dec. 1. Congress must sign off on any changes to NAFTA, a process that could take months or even years.

Over the next few weeks, Congress and advisers in both the civil and private sectors will examine the agreement to determine the benefits for American businesses and workers.


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