After Donald Trump's announcement today of a breakthrough in trade talks with Mexico, the statement issued by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland's office ended with four seemingly incongruous words: "Canada's signature is required".
Auto manufacturing: The new deal would require that 75% of the parts in any vehicle sold in North America be produced in the United States or Mexico.
Canada is now locked in a tariff battle with Trump.
US automakers have opposed raising the North American content requirement, but the United Auto Workers union has supported it.
But Kergin argued that for Trump, "it's much better with Canada in the agreement, as the second largest trading partner the United States, than if it were just bilateral".
US, Mexican and Canadian stocks opened higher on Monday on optimism about a trade deal.
The new agreement with Mexico provides zero tariffs on agricultural products.
Stocks are rising broadly as the USA and Mexico prepare to announce the details of the new trade agreement. The White House told Congress previous year that it would renegotiate NAFTA, but never said it would start talks on an entirely new deal.
President Trump Announces United States-Mexico Trade Agreement — NAFTA No More
It's unclear whether Congress would accept bilateral trade deals between the United States and its NAFTA counterparts. The plan would not contain an automatic expiration for NAFTA as proposed in the prior US demand for a "sunset clause".
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"I think it's an elegant name", Trump said at an event Monday at the White House. He noted, for example, that Trump said nothing Monday about dropping Trump's tariffs on Mexican or Canadian steel - tariffs that were imposed in part to pressure those countries to reach an agreement on NAFTA. "That said, it does seem like there are still a few hurdles to clear first, and in particular the deal's path through Congress".
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has been encouraged by what he calls the progress made by Canada's NAFTA partners, especially on automobiles.
President Trump on Tuesday renewed his pledge to build a border wall paid for by Mexico, prompting a sharp rebuttal from the Mexican government one day after both countries announced plans for a sweeping new trade agreement. In 2017, trade between the United States and Mexico totaled $615.9 billion in goods and services.
The US presidents said he meant to terminate NAFTA while he pursues trade deals with Mexico and starts negotiations with Canada. And possibly a second bilateral deal with Canada. But Trump suggested she would have to agree to terms fast, or he'll simply slap tariffs on Canadian auto exports to the U.S. "A lot of people thought we'd never get here, because we all negotiate tough", Trump said as he walked into the Oval Office and took his seat behind the Resolute Desk.
"We'll get rid of the name NAFTA, it has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA for many years", Trump said. Congress has 90 days to review it, with a signing anticipated for November.
Vehicle exports to the U.S. are worth $56bn (C$72bn; £43bn), or 20% of Canada's total exports to the United States - its largest export market.
Mexico and Canada have so far backed each other in ensuring a replacement trade deal is trilateral.