Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina
9:24 A.M. AST
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. We’re gathered together this afternoon for a very historic occasion: The signing ceremony for a brand new trade deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. So important.
I’m honored to be here with President Enrique Peña Nieto — who’s become a great friend — of Mexico, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has also become a great friend, who has — this has been a battle, and battles sometimes make great friendships. So it’s really terrific.
With our signatures today, we will formally declare the intention of our three countries to replace NAFTA with the USMCA a truly groundbreaking achievement. A modern-day agreement.
I want to thank U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer and his entire team for their tremendous effort and the efforts that they’ve made all throughout the last almost two-year period.
Thank you as well to Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, and Director Larry Kudlow for their hard work and untiring devotion throughout the negotiation process. Peter Navarro, thank you so much for the work that you put in. And so many others.
The USMCA is the largest, most significant, modern, and balanced trade agreement in history. All of our countries will benefit greatly. It is probably the largest trade deal ever made, also. In the United States, the new trade pact will support high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for American exports across the range of sectors, including our farming, manufacturing, and service industries.
As part of our agreement, the United States will be able to lock in our market access to Canada and Mexico, and greatly expand our agricultural exports — something we’ve been wanting to do for many years. This is an amazing deal for our farmers, and also allows them to use cutting-edge biotechnology, and eliminates non-scientific barriers.
Our nations have also agreed to innovate new measures to ensure fair competition and promote high wages, and higher wages, for U.S. and North American autoworkers. The autoworkers are a tremendous beneficiary.
Under the USMCA, at least 75 percent of our automobiles’ content must be manufactured in North America, and 40 to 45 percent of automobile content must be manufactured by North American high-wage labor in order to gain preferential access to our markets. This will help stop auto jobs from going overseas and it will bring back auto jobs that have already left. Many, many jobs are already planning to come back. Many companies are coming back, and we’re very excited about that.
This landmark agreement includes intellectual property protections that will be the envy of nations all around the world. The USMCA also contains robust new provisions on digital trade and financial services, and the most ambitious environmental and labor protections ever placed into a major trade agreement anywhere at any time.
We have dramatically raised standards for combatting unfair trade practices; confronting massive subsidies for state-owned enterprises; and, currently, if you look at it, currency manipulation that hurt workers in all three of our countries. The currency manipulation from some countries is so intense, so bad, and it would hurt Mexico, Canada, and the United States badly. We’ve covered it very well in this agreement.
These new provisions will benefit labor, technology, and development in each of our nations, leading to much greater growth and opportunity throughout our countries and across North America.
In short, this is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever. And this is an agreement that, first and foremost, benefits working people — something of great importance to all three of us here today.
President — I must say, Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, we’ve worked hard on this agreement. It’s been long and hard. We’ve taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse. And we got there. It’s great for all of our countries.
Thank you for your close partnership throughout this process. This new agreement will ensure a future of prosperity and innovation for Mexico, Canada, and the United States. I look forward to working with members of Congress and the USMCA partners — and I have to say, it’s been so well reviewed, I don’t expect to have very much of a problem — to ensure the complete implementation of our agreement.
Enrique, I want to thank you on a personal note, and I want to wish you the very best. This will be your last day in office, so that’s a very auspicious day when you can sign something so important. But we really do appreciate it. I think I can speak for Justin when I say that. (Applause.) We both — we both agree he’s a special man. And he’s really done a good job, and we appreciate it very much. Thank you.
So I just want to congratulate you on ending your term in office with this incredible milestone. It is really an incredible way to end a presidency. You don’t see that happen very often.
I look forward to working with President-elect López Obrador for many years to come. And our relationship, I know, will be a very good one. We’ve had great conversations and I think we’re going to have a great, great relationship.
And I would now like to invite the President and the Prime Minister to say a few words. And perhaps we can start with Justin. And we appreciate it very much. Thank you. Justin, please. (Applause.)