Plastics and manufacturing trade groups praised the November 30 signing of a new trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States, but some called on President Donald Trump to use the agreement to cancel tariffs on steel and aluminum. The longstanding trilateral deal was roundly criticized by the U.S. protectionist right, as well as the anti-globalization left, particularly for the damage that eliminating tariffs did to the USA auto industry. Trump tweeted before leaving his hotel for his first meeting, a short one with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri at Casa Rosada, the famous pink governmental palace.
"With the signing of this agreement, President Trump has delivered on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA and protect American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers", it said in a statement.
USMCA will help incentivize billions of dollars in additional vehicle and auto parts production in the United States. And bickering over the finer details reportedly dogged negotiators hours until its signing in Buenos Aires this morning. We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there.
"The new agreement risks the risk of serious economic uncertainly that lingers throughout a trade negotiation process".
There is more work to be done, Trudeau said, calling the recent announcement that General Motors will close plants in Canada and the USA "a heavy blow".
"The agreement that we have signed today will allow each country to gain individually, but also North America will grow stronger and will grow to be more prosperous", he said.
Pena Nieto also said the new agreement provides improved protection of workers' rights and the environment.
The signing of the trade pact is largely ceremonial, because it still needs to be ratified by all three countries before it can formally take effect. "Uncertainty that would have only gotten worse and more damaging had we not reached a new NAFTA".More news: China hopes for positive results from USA talks at G20
"This New NAFTA is a huge missed opportunity", said Karen Hansen-Kuhn, director of Trade and Global Governance at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. And the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers expressed concern that the continuation of tariffs could "completely eliminate any benefits derived from the new USMCA agreement".
Trump heralded it, but old habits die hard, and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer referred to the deal as NAFTA later that day.
"I don't expect to have much of a problem", Trump said during the ceremony.
Lighthizer said the pact was negotiated from the beginning to be a bipartisan agreement.
Trump told reporters later: "We had no discussion".
At the event, on the sidelines of an worldwide summit opening in Buenos Aires, Trump touted the hard-fought deal as "a truly groundbreaking achievement" and proudly held up the signed agreement for the cameras at the conclusion of a short ceremony.
The current duty-free threshold is only $20 (Canadian), or about $15 (U.S.).
Matt Blunt, the head of the main lobbying group for GM, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, applauded the deal, saying it would keep north American automotive manufacturing competitive and included a first-ever provision to address currency manipulation. The celebratory moment was dimmed by ongoing differences over Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as plans for massive layoffs in the USA and Canada by General Motors. "In the United States, the new trade pact will promote high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for American exports across a range of sectors including our farming, manufacturing and service industries".