The road to rewrite the North American trade agreement was a “battle,” U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday November 30, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto joined him for a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Nevertheless, “battles sometimes make great friendships, so it’s really terrific,” Trump said as the other two leaders looked on uneasily from behind podiums with the American presidential seal on the front.
Official text for the deal Trump has named the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) has now been signed by all three countries.
Canada will change the order of the countries in its legal version of the name, putting Canada first (CUSMA). Trudeau referred to the deal Friday morning as the “new NAFTA.”
Trump felt strongly about changing the agreement’s name when his administration reworked the deal. He continued to refer to NAFTA as “terrible” on social media after the signing ceremony, saying “it will soon be gone.”
At the signing ceremony, Trudeau said the deal’s completion lifts the economic uncertainty created by the acrimonious 15-month negotiation process, an uncertainty that “only would have gotten worse” had the parties not reached a new agreement.
Both Trump and Trudeau noted the deal was signed on Peña Nieto’s final day in office, and thanked him for his work.