After much anticipation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the new NAFTA in Buenos Aires ahead of the high-profile G20 summit on Friday morning.
Trudeau joined US president Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to formally sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
— CanadianPM (@CanadianPM) November 30, 2018
“Our focus from the outset of the negotiations was the need to preserve middle-class jobs and foster economic growth. The new NAFTA preserves tariff-free access in the North American trading bloc and secures essential cross-border supply chains that make North America more globally competitive” said the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The new agreement will support good, middle-class jobs in Canada, strengthen economic ties between the three countries, and contribute to North America’s global competitiveness.
“Our job as a government is to safeguard economic gains and prevent economic threats, and that is what we’ve done with the new agreement. What we have achieved is a reflection of the team Canada approach we took throughout negotiations, and I thank Canadians for their support and unity.”
The modernized agreement preserves Canada’s “preferential” access to the US and Mexican markets, ensuring that the majority of trilateral trade remains duty-free.
The main component of the agreement includes an exemption for a significant quantity of Canadian automobiles and auto parts from potential future US 232 tariff measures.
Additionally, Canada succeeded in preserving key elements of the original NAFTA, including the cultural exemption and the use of binational panels to resolve disputes on duties.
Throughout the entire negotiation process, Freeland says Canada’s objectives always remained clear: “defend Canadians’ interests, fight for Canadian jobs and living standards, and uphold Canadian values within an agreement that is mutually beneficial for all three countries.”
And while Canada continues to use the term NAFTA, US President Donald Trump isn’t doing so.
“Just signed one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in US and World History,” said the US President. “The United States, Mexico and Canada worked so well together in crafting this great document. The terrible NAFTA will soon be gone. The USMCA will be fantastic for all.”
Just signed one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in U.S. and World History. The United States, Mexico and Canada worked so well together in crafting this great document. The terrible NAFTA will soon be gone. The USMCA will be fantastic for all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2018
Canada, the US and Mexico will now move forward with their respective domestic procedures toward the ratification and implementation of the new trade agreement.