‘A better deal’: Trump, White House celebrate as USMCA officially replaces NAFTA

President Donald Trump’s criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dates back to his days as a businessman, and he had long hoped to abolish the longstanding trade deal. Now, he’s made good on that promise.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace NAFTA officially went into effect on Wednesday, and the White House is now celebrating that victory, as Breitbart reported.

The trade deal, which Trump’s administration negotiated in 2018 and the U.S. Senate approved the following year, has helped fulfill Trump’s campaign pledge to put an end to NAFTA. The final legislative step came with a 385–41 vote in the House of Representatives amid an impeachment probe of the president.

“I made a solemn promise”

Trump heralded the milestone in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“When I ran for President, I made a solemn promise to the American people that I would end the job-killing failure called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and replace it with a better deal for our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses — the men and women of Main Street who built the most prosperous and equitable economy in human history,” the president wrote.

In marking the end of a longstanding trade agreement he believes was unfair, Trump said the U.S. “pays tribute” to the nation’s workers “and celebrates their ability to overcome decades of bad deals and failed policies.”

Contrasting that deal with the USMCA, Trump described the latter as the “largest, fairest, and most balanced trade agreement ever negotiated,” which he said signaled a positive economic impact on multiple industries.

“The strong and overwhelming support the USMCA received from both parties in Congress — as well as from labor unions, business organizations, and champions of agriculture — shows just how much this trade agreement will benefit all Americans,” the president said. “Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be added to the economy.”

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs”

The president went on to thank both Canada and Mexico for their cooperation in the negotiations that led to the agreement as well as in managing the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trump vowed to continue working with the leaders of both nations to address other issues impacting regional peace and prosperity.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, for her part, also weighed in on the development with her own words of praise for the new trade deal.

“Thanks to the bold leadership of President Trump, the agreement will mean stronger economic growth, more jobs for American workers, and fairer trade for our country,” she said, predicting that the USMCA “will drive job creation” by including “the strongest, most advanced, and comprehensive set of labor provisions of any United States trade agreement.”

As Trump’s critics attempt to portray his first term as a failure, the implementation of this agreement is evidence of his administration’s ability to make good on campaign promises.

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