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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

US, Canada and Mexico sign replacement to Nafta at G20 summit

President Donald Trump described the USMCA agreement as the 'most significant' trade deal in history

Mexican resident Enrique Pena Nieto, President Trump and Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau at the signing of the new North American Free Trade Agreement. Mr Trump called the earlier 1994 pact a job-killing disaster and had vowed to replace it. AFP
Mexican resident Enrique Pena Nieto, President Trump and Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau at the signing of the new North American Free Trade Agreement. Mr Trump called the earlier 1994 pact a job-killing disaster and had vowed to replace it. AFP

The US, Mexico and Canada have signed a new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which the US administration under President Donald Trump had been keen to renegotiate.

"This has been a battle and battles sometimes make great friendships, so it's really terrific," said Mr Trump.

"With our signatures today we will formally declare the intention of our three countries to replace Nafta, with the USMCA, a truly groundbreaking achievement, modern-day agreement," he said at a joint press briefing at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, as the North American Free Trade Agreement has been re-branded has been pushed by the Trump administration, which found the earlier pact signed in 1994 between the trio full of "deficiencies and mistakes".

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President Trump, who has adopted a more protectionist approach towards securing American economic interests said the re-negotiated deal, which oversees trade worth $1.2 trillion "was the most balanced in history".

"The US MCA is the largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history," he said at the briefing.

"All of our countries will benefit greatly. It is probably the largest trade deal ever made also. In the US, the new agreement will suppose high paying manufacturing jobs and access for American exports across the range of sectors," he added.