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World Free Trade Treaty: Mexican President Obrador in Washington with Trump

02:41  08 july  2020
02:41  08 july  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Le président mexicain, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, ici lors d'une conférence de presse au Palais national, à Mexico, le août 2019. © REUTERS / Henry Romero Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador here at a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, August 2019

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be in Washington on Wednesday where he will meet his counterpart Donald Trump. This is his first official trip. A visit that aims to consolidate the ties between these two North American countries which, with Canada, adopted a new free trade treaty on July 1, 2019. A special visit since it is taking place during the Covid pandemic -19.

He arrived in Washington Tuesday evening. But it was not until Wednesday that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador officially began his first trip as President of Mexico, 18 months after taking office. The opportunity to celebrate the ties that unite these two countries.

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On July 1, 2019, the new North American Free Trade Treaty entered into force. A treaty which should allow a rebalancing in the level of trade relations between the United States, Mexico and Canada. The two heads of state will meet early in the afternoon for a working meeting before continuing these discussions with members of the American administration and certain Mexican ministers. Ministers who, like Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, underwent screening for Covid-19 before traveling to the United States.

Discussions will also focus on the health situation, but also on security issues, dear to Donald Trump. A visit criticized by the Mexican opposition because in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic and also criticized by the Democratic Party, which sees it as an act of campaign aimed at seducing the electorate of Latin origin. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not want to travel because of tensions between the two countries over the issue of possible tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada.

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One of the most important treaties in the world

The USMCA, the new acronym for this trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, replaces NAFTA, in force since 1994 and considered unanimously obsolete by its member countries, countries which represent more than 500 million inhabitants and 27% of the world GDP.

President Donald Trump had made it a hobbyhorse since his presidential campaign in 2016, making him responsible for the destruction of thousands of jobs in the automotive sector. 25 years after its entry into force, and after numerous amendments, the new treaty was finally ratified at the end of last year. In addition to the trade rules, it incorporates a more social aspect, encouraging better protection of workers or even higher wages in Mexico.

However, the points of tension remain, Canada fears for its aluminum exports to the United States but also the return of a dairy conflict, a long-standing dispute between the two border countries. As for Mexico, improving the status of workers now depends exclusively on the adaptation, or not, of Mexican law.

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