President Trump Announces Renaming, Overhaul to NAFTA in 'Fairer' Deal with Mexico

Posted August 28, 2018

Trump cast the agreement as the United States-Mexico Free Trade Agreement, saying he wanted to do away with the NAFTA name because it had "bad connotations".

Trump said the deal would be called the United States - Mexico Free Trade Agreement instead of NAFTA. Officials will have to decide whether to succumb to pressure from a joint agreement between the USA and Mexico or risk economic insecurity. Trump's chief agricultural negotiator, Gregg Doud, said talks with Canada have been "really, really hard".

On Monday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States and Mexico had tentatively agreed to a new deal regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Mexican leader expressed hope to "renew, modernize and update" NAFTA while Trump's rhetoric indicated he sees that 24-year-old three-nation deal as dead.

But Canada's minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, said that "once the bilateral issues get resolved, Canada will be joining the talks to work on both bilateral issues and our trilateral issues".

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Trump, who has had a strained relationship with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto over his demands that Mexico pay for a border wall, cited "closer" ties to America's southern neighbor on Saturday.

The deal also would require 40 percent to 45 percent of auto content to be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour. That issue was a key request of the USA, which has long wanted Canada and Mexico to raise their de minimis levels. Canada and the US are both on the eve of contentious mid-term elections, which could affect the timeline of the negotiations.

Trump says he will be calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But Trump has called the agreement "the worst deal maybe ever signed" and moved ahead with tariffs earlier this year.

"I do want to underscore that I've been hearing optimism from those countries about the progress they're making and Canada is very sympathetic to the fact that these issues are very complicated", she told reporters in Richmond, British Columbia, according to CTV News.

But pressed as to whether Mexico is willing to enter a bilateral deal with the U.S., a senior White House official on the same call dodged. In response, Mexico slapped tariffs on $3 billion of USA goods, including steel, pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon and different types of cheese.

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Top American and Mexican officials concluded a marathon negotiating session in Washington Monday with an agreement on new content rules for the auto sector and several other bilateral matters that had proven major sticking points in the talks.

Trump says that they are starting talks with Canada immediately.

Although the deal will not be finalized immediately, the progress in negotiations comes as a relief to USA businesses that find themselves in the middle of trade wars with Mexico, Canada, China and the European Union, The New York Times reported.

-Canada Tags Back In: One of the core NAFTA fights has been on cars - namely, low Mexican wages luring manufacturing jobs to the country.

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