However, Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Lightizer said they were confident the agreement would pass Congress.
Each of the country's must get their parliaments to approve the deal, however. Trump said on Twitter. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, said in a joint statement they would continue to review the deal and talk to Mainers to see if it benefits the state and its small businesses. The new deal replaced the much-debated NAFTA agreement.
Legislative approval is the next step, but could prove to be a hard task in the United States, especially now that Democrats - instead of Trump's Republicans - will control the House of Representatives come January. "In short, this is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever".
It will require approval from each country's legislature, and in the U.S., Democrats in Congress, in particular, have voiced concerns about its labor and environmental protections.
Trudeau, speaking in French and English, did not refer to the agreement by the USMCA acronym, instead calling it "the new NAFTA". Carmakers had strong reactions to the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) reached this week. "As a result (of the new agreement), the tariff-free access NAFTA guaranteed for more than 70 per cent of Canada's total exports is secure". "The agreement also supports higher drug prices because of Big Pharma protectionism and allows attacks on farmers and Crown corporations". It updates the trade pact to reflect the rise of the digital economy since the original NAFTA took effect almost a quarter century ago.
The U.S. agreed to Canada's insistence that the dispute settlement system - formerly known as Chapter 19 - remain in the deal.
Trump since his campaign had called NAFTA the worst trade deal in history, though much of it is carried over in the new version.
The signing of the new trade deal is a "positive step" toward a trilateral agreement that encourages free trade and the importing of essential products sold in independent supermarkets, such as produce, noted Molly Pfaffenroth, director of government relations at the Arlington-based National Grocers Association, which advocates for the independent grocery sector.
"Donald, it's all the more reason why we need to keep working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminium between our two countries", Trudeau said.
Trudeau also brought up the recent announcement by General Motors that the company will be closing several factories in both the US and Canada, calling it a "heavy blow".
In Mexico, the deal was negotiated under Enrique Peña Nieto, but incoming President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador might decide not to honour it. The awful NAFTA will soon be gone.
One looming question is whether Trump will have a run-in with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid global dismay over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
As the many leaders gathered for the traditional "family photo" as the summit began, Trump kept his distance from the two controversial autocrats, who greeted each other with grins and an exaggerated handshake, appearing to revel before the cameras in their shared notoriety.
Canadian President Trudeau, who has had a rocky relationship with Trump, described the agreement as the "new NAFTA". USA intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince must have at least known of the plot to kill Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi royal family.
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