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Trump announces trade deal with Mexico, says he will ditch Nafta name

Trump announces trade deal with Mexico, says he will ditch Nafta name

The United States and Mexico have reached a trade deal that would replace NAFTA which Trump says is very special for U.S. manufacturers and farmers. He then threatened Canada with new tariffs on cars if it didn't come to a trade agreement with with the USA, which he said could be bilateral.

He announced the progress from the Oval Office, with Mexican president Pena Nieto joining in on speakerphone.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has drawn most of Trump's criticism.

But Trump's public announcement of the trade deal got off to a rocky start as the White House tried to get Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on the phone.

Calling the deal "very good" for USA farmers and manufacturers, Mr Trump said Mexico has agreed to purchase "as much farm product as possible" immediately.

Second only to the booming economy, Monday's announcement of a deal with Mexico is the most visible manifestation of Trump's fulfilment of his campaign promises.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland smiles after a meeting with Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City, Mexico July 25, 2018.

U.S. and Mexican officials say the two countries have reached a deal on revamping the North America Free Trade Agreement.

Considering Democrats have been advocating for the end or renegotiation of NAFTA and other trade agreements for years, the move raises questions about how they will react to the new deal. The Mexican president said he wanted the former.

Trade representatives from the US and Mexico are in Washington, DC, to rehab NAFTA, which was signed between the US, Mexico and Canada in 1994.

Under Monday's preliminary agreement, Mexico agreed to ensure that 75 percent of automotive content be produced within Mexico and the US, up from the current 62.5 percent, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

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US automakers have opposed raising the North American content requirement, but the United Auto Workers union has supported it. Canada and the USA are both on the eve of contentious mid-term elections, which could affect the timeline of the negotiations.

"This is something that is very special for our manufactures and our farmers", Trump said.

Some experts interpreted the administration's signaling about a possible bilateral deal as an attempt to pressure Canada into a swift agreement on revising NAFTA, which the USA administration denied.

Mr. Trump has derided NAFTA as the worst trade deal ever signed.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, hailed Monday's news as a "positive step" but said Canada needs to be party to a final deal.

"One way or another we'll have a deal with Canada", Trump said. He threatened to impose new taxes on Canadian auto imports to intensify pressure on Ottawa to a agree to deal to Trump's liking.

The Trump administration said the deal improves labor provisions.

"We'll see if Canada can be part of deal", he said, saying the USA might simply opt for new agreements with both its neighbors.

For that to happen, the US Congress must be notified 90 days in advance, which means the administration must send the notice by the end of the week.

Canada will be joining the talks after the USA and Mexico come to an agreement to replace NAFTA, which was signed in 1994.

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