ECONOMY

Trump inks long-awaited North American trade deal

US President Trump signs USMCA trade deal at the White House in Washington. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the new USMCA North American trade pact with Canada and Mexico into law, pronouncing a “glorious future” for US industry.

The USMCA, crafted over years of negotiation between the three countries, replaces the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Trump has long campaigned against NAFTA, which he said resulted in shipping US jobs abroad.

“Today, we are finally ending the NAFTA nightmare,” he said at the new treaty’s signing ceremony in the White House.

Analysts say USMCA retains many elements of NAFTA, a mammoth deal that created a free trade zone across all of North America, shaking up entire industries and supply chains.

Economists say that overall NAFTA increased growth and raised the standard of living in North America, binding the three countries in a complex web of trade rules and services.

But the new deal does change content rules on auto manufacturing, to boost US jobs, and requires higher salaries for some Mexican auto workers.

It also makes changes to e-commerce, intellectual property protections and dispute settlement for investors, as well as imposing tougher labor provisions, requiring reforms to Mexico’s laws.

Mexico ratified the new agreement on December 10, and Canada is expected to follow suit in coming weeks.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 29 January 2020 KSA 22:30 - GMT 19:30
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