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Agreement reached on Nafta trade deal replacement

REPRESENTATIVES from the US, Mexico and Canada have finalised and signed a trade deal that will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta)

11 December 2019 - 19:00

REPRESENTATIVES from the US, Mexico and Canada have finalised and signed a trade deal that will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

The inking of the pact in Mexico came hours after Democrats in US Congress said they would support the deal after the White House agreed to strengthen the labour and environmental rules.



The three countries had concluded their talks more than a year ago. But the deal needs approval by legislatures in the three countries before it can move forward.



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared the revised pact 'infinitely better' than the deal the three countries announced last year, reports BBC.



US President Donald Trump, who had accused the Democrats of holding up the deal, also declared victory.



The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will be 'the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody - Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions - tremendous support,' he tweeted.



Among the most important changes were new rules that require a higher share of North American-made parts for a vehicle to qualify for tariff-free treatment.



Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, were also pushing for changes to strengthen enforcement of labour and environmental rules, and provide more flexibility governing drug pricing.



Democrats said they had reached an agreement with the White House on new provisions and were planning to support the deal in a vote.



'There is no question, of course, that this trade agreement is much better than Nafta but... it is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,' Ms Pelosi said.



The US business community urged Congress to bring the deal to a vote quickly. Canada and Mexico are two of the US's biggest trade partners.


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