UPDATE | Ryan says he's pleased with new Trump pact


YOUNGSTOWN — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said he’s “pleased that the text” of an updated NAFTA by the President Donald Trump Administration “makes great strides toward prioritizing” workers.

“This agreement as it stands creates rules to give workers a level playing field,” said Ryan of Howland, D-13th. “But rules are only good if [they] can be and will be enforced. As I study this new agreement I want to make sure the enforcement mechanisms are strong, especially when it comes to the labor and environmental standards enforcement of this agreement. I’ve always maintained that any new deal must raise wages, include strong environmental standards, protect workers’ rights and freedoms, cut back outsourcing, and put the interests of working families ahead of international corporations in all three countries. While there is still work to do on a number of important provisions, I am encouraged that we are moving in a direction that fulfills those critical requirements.”

10:56 a.m.

TORONTO (AP) — Canada is back in a revamped North American free trade deal with the United States and Mexico after weeks of bitter, high-pressure negotiations that brushed up against a midnight deadline.

In a joint statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the late Sunday agreement “will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

The new deal, reached just before the midnight deadline imposed by the U.S., will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, of NAFTA, which President Donald Trump had called a job-killing disaster.

Trump on Monday morning called it a “great deal,” tweeting that it “solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world.”

He added: “Congratulations to Mexico and Canada!”

The agreement reached Sunday gives U.S. farmers greater access to the Canadian dairy market. But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the U.S. wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts imported into the United States.

“It’s a good day for Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office.

Trudeau said he would have more to say Monday.

“We celebrate a trilateral deal. The door closes on trade fragmentation in the region,” Jesus Seade, trade negotiator for Mexico’s incoming president, said via Twitter.

Representatives for the government of Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called a press conference to discuss details of the trade deal on Monday.

Canada, the United States’ No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration officially notified Congress of the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement on Aug. 31. That started a 90-day clock that would let outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto sign the new pact before he leaves office Dec. 1.

Trump threatened to go ahead with a revamped NAFTA, with or without Canada. It was unclear, however, whether Trump had authority from Congress to pursue a revamped NAFTA with only Mexico.

Some lawmakers immediately expressed relief that Canada had been reinstated in the regional trading bloc.

“I am pleased that the Trump administration was able to strike a deal to modernize NAFTA with both Mexico and Canada,” said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “NAFTA is a proven success.”

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.