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Trump to sign North American trade pact at White House; key Democrats not invited

Stock MarketsJan 29, 2020 09:39AM ET
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© Reuters. Workers prepare the South Lawn for a ceremony for U.S. President Trump to sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal at the White House in Washington

By Jeff Mason and Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a new North American trade agreement on Wednesday in an outdoor ceremony at the White House to be attended by about 400 guests - but not the key Democrats who helped secure congressional passage of the deal.

Guests invited to the South Lawn signing include lawmakers from around the country, workers, farmers, and CEOs, as well as officials from Mexico and Canada, a White House official said.

Not invited were House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and other Democrats who negotiated for months to expand the pact's labor, environmental and enforcement provisions and ensure the approval of the Democratically-controlled House, said sources familiar with the situation.

The event takes place in the middle of Trump's impeachment trial, amid signs that some of his fellow Republicans may allow the calling of witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton.

Trump's legal team on Tuesday sought to minimize the importance of an unpublished book manuscript by Bolton that describes Trump's central role in a pressure campaign aimed at getting Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a top contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in this year's election.

Trump had made renegotiating the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a major campaign issue in 2016, and plans to tout its replacement at events in coming weeks as he campaigns for a second term in office.

"Along with members of Congress, state and local leaders, and workers from across the country, including farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs, President Trump will celebrate another promise made, promise kept to the American people when he signs the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)," White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

"USMCA rebalances trade in North America, replaces the job-killing NAFTA, ends the outsourcing of American jobs, and invests in the American worker," he said.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement must still be ratified by Canada before it can take effect. The U.S. Senate this month overwhelmingly approved the legislation, sending the measure to Trump for him to sign into law.

The Mexican parliament has already approved the deal.

Congressional aides said it could take several months before the trade accord is implemented, since the three countries must show they are meeting its obligations before the clock starts ticking on an effective date.

The USMCA includes tougher rules on labor and automotive content but leaves $1.2 trillion in annual U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade flows largely unchanged.

Trump to sign North American trade pact at White House; key Democrats not invited
 

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Comments (3)
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Jan 29, 2020 10:23AM ET
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Why would you give credit to those who work against you?Finally someone scores killed NAFTA.I wad in the city after that and recall when Bush let China into WTO, there- were thousands of protesters there. Bush fid thst for us. Another true globalist
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Jan 29, 2020 2:16AM ET
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Beware the Snake Oil Salesman ?!
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Jan 29, 2020 2:16AM ET
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What flavors you peddling today Jon?
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Jan 29, 2020 2:16AM ET
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Chris Martin Anything REAL and not that delude Kool aid you drink !
Otb Investor
Otb Investor Jan 29, 2020 1:58AM ET
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Dems did nothing but hold up USMCA for 12 months. Why should they credit now for finally passing it? The so called looking after labor was for Mexican labor, not American labor. Figures they would care more about the other country not ours.
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Jan 29, 2020 1:58AM ET
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Yes, first NAFTA, then the n ed xt mail in the coffin was jeong China into WTO. I was in NYC when thousands were protesting that. I've loathed Bush since. We now hey a volunteer of hope and numerous dimly lit individuals for political reasons only, put down a deal that'd help us with jobs and economy. This and the Coins deal will bring trillions to USA and help for a more level field.
Joseph Allen
Joseph Allen Jan 29, 2020 1:58AM ET
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if you raise Mexican labor then their is no incentive to move american jobs there in the first place
Tar Jay
Tar Jay Jan 29, 2020 1:58AM ET
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No one with a brain is crediting the dems for anything but failing miserably at their pathetic attempt at a coup.
 
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