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Mexico, the United States and Canada sign the new T-MEC trade agreement (USMCA)

By: Dr. Alejandro Díaz-Bautista, economist (PhD)

The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico met in the framework of the G20 summit in Argentina to sign the new trade agreement between the three countries that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Mexico, the United States and Canada signed the new T-MEC trade agreement (USMCA), which will benefit the economies of North America in the coming decades. This is probably the largest trade agreement ever reached, a model of trade agreement that forever alters the international trade landscape, “said Dr. Alejandro Díaz Bautista, an economist, national researcher at Conacyt and research professor at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (El Colef).

The representatives of Mexico, the United States and Canada signed the texts of the new free trade agreement between the three countries of North America.

The signing of the agreement occurs at the G20 Summit that takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The T-MEC contains the foundations of its predecessor (NAFTA), which governed the trade exchanges of the three countries since 1994.

The new agreement adds new chapters to various economic and commercial areas. Enrique Peña Nieto, Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, gave a press conference in Buenos Aires, and within that framework, they signed the agreement that demanded a year and a half of meetings and that finally was agreed on September 30.

President Donald Trump said the agreement is “innovative” and will benefit the “working people” of the United States.

The Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC for its acronym in Spanish and USMCA, for its acronym in English), replaces the NAFTA, which was in force since January 1, 1994 and which President described as a “disaster” for a long time.

The new trade agreement must still be ratified by the Congresses of the three countries. While Trump praised the new treaty, Trudeau was more measured in saying that there is still work to be done and asked the US president to eliminate tariffs on aluminum and steel imports that he imposed on Canada and Mexico.

In recent days, the technical head of the negotiation of NAFTA, Secretary of Economy (SE) Kenneth Smith, estimated that the ratification could occur during the first eight months of 2019 and will probably take effect on January 1, 2020.

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