U.S., Mexico, Canada Sign Changes to Free-Trade Agreement

01:26PM Dec 10, 2019
( MGN Image )

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S., Mexico and Canada on Tuesday signed amendments to a free-trade agreement they first reached more than a year ago, paving the way for the three countries’ legislatures to ratify the deal.

The move came after House Democrats embraced the overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the revised deal is better for American workers.

The AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the U.S., endorsed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as the USMCA. Richard Trumka, who is the group’s president and worked closely with Democrats on the negotiations, called the agreement one that “working people can proudly support.”

Representatives met in Mexico City to sign the deal. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer signed on behalf of the U.S., while Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland represented Canada. Mexico’s chief negotiator, Jesus Seade, represented the Latin American nation. Earlier Tuesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke by phone with Trump and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle that we have all come together,” Lighthizer said. “I think that’s a testament to how good the agreement is.”

The revised trade agreement removes a loophole in Nafta that allowed any country to object to the formation of enforcement panels, and it updates rules governing how evidence can be presented at arbitration panels, according to a summary of the pact.


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