The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada on Friday signed a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, a move that is likely to affect Japanese and other foreign automakers operating in Mexico and Canada.
USA president Donald Trump, left, and Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, smile during a news conference before the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday Nov. 30, 2018. He said that NAFTA had a bad connotation in the USA due to the negative effects of the agreement in the country, and that it is better to start fresh.
Freeland's remarks offer a glimpse into the political and legal heavy lifting set to follow Friday's signing of the trade pact - an agreement reached through hand-wringing negotiations and a ceremony confirmed only at the 11th hour.
"Make no mistake, we will stand up for our workers and fight for their families and their communities", he said, before addressing Trump directly.
The side letters left unchanged the overall quota of autos (2.6 million units annually for each country) and auto parts (US$108-billion for Mexico and $32.4-billion annually for Canada) that the countries will be allowed to send to the United States without paying a potential 25-per-cent tariff.
The deal also must be ratified by lawmakers in all three countries.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters in the Argentine capital on Friday that the "modest increase" in USA dairy access was granted to help reach an agreement that provides the country with the "stability and predictability" of a deal that protects $2-billion a day in cross-border trade.
That could prove to be an overly optimistic assessment.
Trump signs trade deal with Canada and Mexico
Presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the deal as a "work in progress" that lacks worker and environment protections.
Trump expressed optimism about getting the deal blessed by US lawmakers.
And while Trudeau was standing in front of Trump, he made a decision to emphasize the American president's failures. Trump's economic adviser Kudlow said that the administration believed that changes to NAFTA would make this type of closures unnecessary, but the management at GM apparently disagrees.
The outgoing Mexican leader hailed the as providing "more and better opportunities to our people", predicting that "North America will grow stronger and be more prosperous".
It was Nieto's last day as president, and he touted the benefits of the new agreement. Where applicable, or if needed for context, it will be pointed out that the USA refers to the agreement as USMCA.
Trudeau has a majority in Canada's House of Commons but faces an election next October.
Mr. Trump has said USA intelligence reports on the crime don't establish conclusively whether the crown prince was involved in planning the murder or knew about it in advance.
"In the United States, the new trade pact will support high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for American exports across the range of sectors including our farming, manufacturing and service industries", Trump said. "The USMCA will be fantastic for all!" However, ongoing differences over steel and aluminum tariffs the US has imposed on its northern and southern neighbors encroached on the celebratory moment.