Donald Trump gave a victory lap speech and answered questions Monday about the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a re-working of the North American Free Trade Agreement the president has often called the worst deal in history.
“The agreement will govern nearly $1.2 trillion in trade, which makes it the biggest trade deal in United States history. It puts us in a position we’ve never been in before. This is a terrific deal for all of us.”
“The agreement will govern nearly $1.2 trillion in trade, which makes it the biggest trade deal in United States history,” Trump said Monday in the Rose Garden. “It puts us in a position we’ve never been in before. This is a terrific deal for all of us.”
The agreement brings Canada to the table along with the U.S and Mexico, which had already ironed out a new agreement with Trump during summer negotiations.
The USMCA, Trump said, will help create new jobs and stop jobs from leaving the U.S.
“The factories were leaving, the jobs were leaving, people were being fired,” he said in regards to NAFTA. “We have negotiated this new agreement based on the principle of fairness and reciprocity. To me, it’s the most important word in trade.
“This new deal will be the most modern, up-to-date and most balanced trade agreement in the history of our country with the most advanced protections for workers.”
The reason the U.S. was able to barter a new, better deal? Tariffs, according to Trump, who took a shot at politicians who had decried his tariffs as bad for the U.S. and consumers.
“Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be talking about a deal,” he said. “Just for those babies out there that talk about tariffs — that includes Congress, ‘Please don’t charge tariffs’ — without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here.”
The hitch with Canada was mostly over dairy, though it will now ease restrictions and allow U.S. farmers greater access to its market. The U.S. also gave up its demand to get rid of an independent tariff dispute resolution system in the compromise.
Canada also will be saved from auto tariffs Trump has been using as a stick the past few weeks.
The USMCA must still be approved by Congress, and Trump said he envisions further Democrat obstruction ahead.
“I plan to sign the agreement by the end of November. I then will submit it for approval to Congress where in theory there should be no trouble — but anything you submit to Congress is trouble, no matter what.
“It’s the single greatest agreement ever signed but they’ll say, ‘Well, Trump likes it, therefore we’re not going to approve it because that’ll be good for the Republicans, so therefore we can’t approve it.”
To watch the speech and press conference in full, click here.
Editor’s note: So what do you think, is the new deal good for the U.S. or is it just a renamed NAFTA 2.0?