AP

Trump Joins Leaders Of Canada, Mexico To Sign New Trade Pact

Nov 30, 2018, 8:12 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:16 pm

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — President Donald Trump joined the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a global meeting in Argentina on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact, fulfilling a longstanding political promise with a deal he celebrated as a “groundbreaking achievement.”

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is meant to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has long denigrated as a “disaster.” However, ongoing differences over steel and aluminum tariffs the U.S. has imposed on its northern and southern neighbors encroached on the celebratory moment.

Trump appeared with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Group of 20 nations summit in Buenos Aires for the formal signing ceremony. Each country’s legislature must also approve the agreement.

“It’s been long and hard. We’ve taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse and we got there,” Trump said of the pact. “It’s great for all our countries.”

Legislative approval is the next step in the process, but could prove to be a difficult task in the United States, especially now that Democrats — instead of Trump’s Republicans — will control the House of Representatives come January. Democrats and their allies in the labor movement are already demanding changes to the agreement.

Within hours of the signing, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that for the deal to get majority support in Congress, it must have stronger labor and environmental protections and “must prove to be a net benefit to middle-class families and working people.”

While Trump hailed the revised trade pact, Trudeau was more measured and used the event to call on Trump to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs the U.S. slapped on Canada and Mexico. Trudeau also referenced recent downsizing by General Motors in North America as a “heavy blow.” Trump did not mention the job losses.

“With hard work, good will and determination I’m confident that we will get there,” Trudeau said.

Pena Nieto, who will handoff to his successor Saturday, said he was honored to be at the signing on the last day of his administration, saying it is the culmination of a long process “that allow us to overcome differences and to conciliate our visions.”

The signing came at the front end of two days of tough diplomacy for Trump. On the top of his agenda is a Saturday dinner meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping. which will determine if the two can ease escalating trade tensions. Before Trump arrived in Argentina he injected additional drama into the proceedings by canceling another high-stakes meeting, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Friday, Trump opened the day with a cordial meeting at the Casa Rosada with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, a longtime business acquaintance. Posing for photos in the gilded Salón Blanco, Trump spoke about their longtime personal relationship and said they would discuss trade, military purchases and other issues.

“We’ve known each other a long while,” Trump said, noting he worked with Macri’s father on real estate developments. The businessman-turned-politician joked that when he and Macri first met they’d never have imagined their future roles on the world stage.

Macri is hosting the summit as he struggles with problems at home. He is trying to halt economic turmoil that has caused the steep depreciation of the Argentine peso.

Trump, who arrived in Buenos Aires late Thursday, barreled into the two-day meeting by announcing via Twitter that he was canceling a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels. His agenda for the weekend includes meetings with world leaders, as well as a number of heavily choreographed group activities for the gathering of leaders of rich and developing nations.

Trump faces a series of diplomatic challenges over the weekend, most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Xi.

The president canceled on Putin not long after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed he had lied to Congress to cover up that he was negotiating a real estate deal in Moscow on Trump’s behalf during the Republican presidential primary in 2016. The news ensured any meeting with Putin would have put a spotlight on the special counsel’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow during the campaign. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Trump showed that the Russia investigation was testing his ability to stay focused on summit business after he blasted the investigation in a fresh tweet on Friday, again calling it a “Witch Hunt!”

One looming question is whether Trump will have a run-in with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid global dismay over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince must have at least known of the plot to kill Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi royal family. Lawmakers in both parties have called on Trump to at least avoid the young heir apparent as punishment.

But Trump publicly announced his decision to effectively give the prince a pass in the name of “America First,” making vastly exaggerated claims of Saudi military contracts and investments in the United States. The president also views Saudi Arabia as a vital counterbalance to Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Asked Thursday why the two had no meeting scheduled, Trump said: “I would have met with him but we didn’t set that one up.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

A man works at an avocado orchard in Santa Ana Zirosto, Michoacan state, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 26,...
Associated Press

Route to Super Bowl is long, dangerous for Mexican avocados

It is a long and sometimes dangerous journey for avocados destined for guacamole on tables and tailgates in the United States during the Super Bowl.
17 hours ago
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Vis...
Associated Press

Authorities: 2 arrested in California shooting that killed 6

A California sheriff says two gang members suspected in the massacre of six people last month in central California have been arrested, one after a gunbattle.
2 days ago
This booking image provided by the Chicago Police Department, shows Eva Bratcher, who has been accu...
Associated Press

Daughter charged after mom’s body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman is accused of keeping her mother’s dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.
3 days ago
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) leaves her office at the Longworth House Office Building on February 02...
Kevin Freking and Lisa Mascaro

House GOP votes to oust Democrat Omar from major committee

House Republicans have voted to oust Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
3 days ago
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol on F...
Colleen Long and Chris Megerian, Associated Press

Biden urges unity at prayer breakfast under new management

President Joe Biden attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday in Washington and delivered a message of unity.
3 days ago
FILE: Groundhog handler AJ Derume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late sp...
Associated Press

Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction: 6 more weeks of winter

A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Trump Joins Leaders Of Canada, Mexico To Sign New Trade Pact