Canada to flex legal muscle on tariffs following new trade agreement signing

Canada to flex legal muscle on tariffs following new trade agreement signing

Canada to flex legal muscle on tariffs following new trade agreement signing

The deal, a replacement of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, still has to be ratified by the three countries before it takes effect.

The new agreement is to be known as the USMCA (U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement) in U.S. law and CUSMA (with Canada first) in Canadian law.

U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday-a deal some lawmakers and advocacy groups say is still fundamentally flawed as it stomps on the rights of workers and the environment and empowers "the corporate one percent at the expense of the rest of us".

"This will help stop auto jobs from going overseas and bring back auto jobs that already left", Trump said.

Speaking at the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with Trudeau and Peña Nieto on either side of him, Trump acknowledged that the road to a deal had been hard.

Trump, who has called NAFTA the worst trade deal in world history, has wrongly insisted that he is terminating NAFTA and replacing it with something entirely new.

"Make no mistake, we will stand up for our workers and fight for their families and their communities", he said.

The USMCA, which needs to be ratified by lawmakers from the three countries, requires at least 40 percent of vehicle production to come from factories with an average wage of US$16 per hour, which can put Mexico, a low-priced production hub, at a disadvantage. Canadian officials resolutely rejected Trump's demand to scrap provisions to resolve disagreements through worldwide arbitration, something Ottawa has successfully used to challenge US tariffs.

That could prove to be an overly optimistic assessment.

Presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the deal as a "work in progress" that lacks worker and environment protections.

While many in the USA manufacturing and agricultural industries applauded the deal, they warned that the administration's failure to remove the tariffs enacted during the trade dispute will hamper any benefits they would see from the deal.

On his last day in office, Pena Nieto said the agreement advances the countries toward greater integration.

Both Trudeau and Trump have taken criticism over the new agreement.

"These new provisions will benefit labor, technology and development in each of our nations", Trump said Friday.

The Canadian prime minister agreed that it will "protect jobs, strengthen the middle class and create new opportunities for businesses".

Trudeau - with whom Trump has had a rocky relationship - spoke next and conspicuously avoided calling the new agreement by its name, "USMCA", a name that Trump came up with. Trudeau has a majority in Canada's House of Commons but faces an election next October.

The open letter, which is signed by DFC's President and the chairs of all 10 provincial dairy associations, states that government officials had assured dairy farmers that the issue of the USA oversight had not been agreed to by Canada, and would not be part of the final agreement.

'Our objective has always been to sign this agreement on November 30 and we are on track to hit that objective, ' Freeland said shortly after the Canadian delegation arrived in Argentina, according to the Canadian Press.

When the three countries reached the deal at the end of September, Trump said he was not at all confident of obtaining congressional approval.

"Tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum are entirely inconsistent with the overall goals of the USMCA", according to a letter signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and groups representing auto, chemical, grocery, retail and agricultural interests.

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