President Donald Trump has signed into law the USMCA trade deal, a major rewrite of the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico.
Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House moments before signing the bill, Trump said it replaces what he calls the “nightmare” of NAFTA – the Clinton-area agreement that governed trade among the three countries.
Trump said that agreement encouraged factories to leave the United States and relocate south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican labor.
He said the new deal with Canada and Mexico will keep jobs, wealth and growth in America.
“The USMCA is the largest, fairest, most balanced and modern trade agreement ever achieved,” Trump said, adding, “There’s never been anything like it. Other countries are now looking at it.”
Trump said the deal is “cutting edge, state of the art agreement” that will create a “blue collar boom” in the United States.
Experts say the impact will be modest, given that Canada and Mexico already represent the top two export markets for U.S. goods.
While thanking many of those present in South Lawn audience Wednesday, Trump briefly brought up the Senate impeachment into his conduct. He said he wanted to recognize a number of Republican Senators who were helpful in getting the USMCA deal passed through Congress.
“Maybe I’m being just nice to them because I want their vote. Does that make sense? I don’t want to leave anybody out,” Trump said.
Then he joked to the House members on the lawn, “Hey, Congressman, I already got your vote. 196-nothing, to hell with you. I think I have to mention some senators that are here.”