Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

AAR, NRF call on Congress to pass new North American trade agreement

AAR, NRF call on Congress to pass new North American trade agreement

"I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way home from a G20 summit in Argentina.

Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and just-departed Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto signed the NAFTA replacement at a ceremony - during the recent G20 Summit.

Trump's goal in announcing the end of NAFTA is to put pressure on Congress to accept the new agreement with Mexico and Canada.

"With the signing of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, US beef producers are one step closer to knowing that unrestricted, science-based trade will continue in North America", he said. "As incoming chairman of that committee, I'll work closely with committee members and the Trump administration to guide the agreement through Congress". The remarks came after he had formally signed a new version of NAFTA with leaders from Mexico and Canada. "And I think President Trump's intent here was to light a fire under Congress".

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was pleased an agreement had been reached. "It's NAFTA 2.0", Warren told a luncheon audience last week during a foreign policy speech in Washington.

In a hearing held mid-November, John Bozzella, president of the Association of Global Automakers, said the new agreement could hurt the industry.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from MA, speaks at American University in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. "I think that's how he thinks he's going to whip votes".

What has Congress said about this?

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has been critical of the new trilateral trade deal. Trump has repeatedly criticized NAFTA, calling it "the worst trade deal in history".

Some Republicans, however, said such a threat from Trump could serve as a powerful incentive to get Congress to go along with the deal. He threatened to tear it up and withdraw the United States completely at times during the negotiation, which would have left trade between the three neighbors in disarray. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both made clear on Friday that the trade agreement will need protections for workers and the environment, along with other changes, to get their support.

Rubio's office said Monday that the senator had asked Lightizer to look into additional trade actions to protect Florida growers, and that Lighthizer had committed to requesting a fact-finding investigation and taking corrective action.

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