What’s in a new NAFTA name? Apparently, a lot.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed a new trade deal with U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday to replace the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement – but it doesn’t look like the three nations have agreed on what the pact is called.
Trump has said the new deal is known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but the Canadian government isn’t calling it that.
During a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Trudeau referred to the trade accord only as the “new NAFTA.”
Meanwhile, as of Friday morning the website of Canada’s ministry of global affairs website referred to the new NAFTA as CUSMA – or the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.
“The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement will serve to reinforce Canada’s strong economic ties with the United States and Mexico,” the website said.
The original NAFTA took effect in 1994, and Trump has repeatedly criticized it as a terrible deal that has resulted in the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Trump’s rebranding effort of the new trade accord began immediately after it was announced on Sept. 30 that Canada would join the U.S. and Mexico’s deal. Trump insisted on renaming NAFTA, saying the acronym is viewed negatively in many parts of the United States.
At the time, Trump said the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement name, with USMCA as its abbreviation, “has a good ring to it.”
Meanwhile, Mexico’s incoming president Andrés Manuel López Obrado has also indicated the USMCA name doesn’t work for his country. In Spanish, NAFTA was named the Tratado de Libre Comercio de America del norte (TLCAN).
López Obrado posted a Twitter poll in October to survey people on possible new names for the trade pact, which would include TEUMECA or T-MEC.
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