Trump uses state of the union speech to urge Congress to approve

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump is using tonight’s state of the union speech to urge members of Congress to approve the new trilateral trade deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico.Trump sang the praises of the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement and derided its predecessor, NAFTA, as a historic trade blunder.  He described meeting men and women across Rust Belt states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania whose livelihoods were destroyed by the 1994 trilateral trade pact, and who for years heard promises of a new, modernized agreement that were never fulfilled.He says the USMCA will restore manufacturing jobs in the U.S., expand the country’s agriculture sector, protect American intellectual property and produce more American-built automobiles.Whether Congress will ratify the new trade agreement remains an open question.Democrats, who won control of the House of Representatives in last year’s midterm elections, have expressed misgivings about the deal — in particular what they say is a lack of enforcement tools for the deal’s labour and environmental protection provisions.Trump, who for the most part stuck to his prepared remarks throughout his hour-long speech, reprised his long-standing criticisms of NAFTA as a “catastrophe” and a “historic trade blunder.”“I have met the men and women of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire, and many other states whose dreams were shattered by the signing of NAFTA. For years, politicians promised them they would renegotiate for a better deal. But no one ever tried until now,” he said.“Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers, like they haven’t had delivered to for a long time. I hope you can pass the USMCA into law so we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expand American agriculture, protect intellectual property, and ensure that more cars are proudly stamped with our four beautiful words: made in the U.S.A.”The Canadian Press

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