The fact that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will make his first trip outside the country since taking office 18 months ago to meet with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday, July 8, underscores the importance he gives to the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which came into force on July 1.
The agreement, known as USMCA in the United States and T-MEC in Mexico, replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1994.
The chief negotiators in the three nations have heralded the new agreement as a major step forward into the modern age.
U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer called it a “monumental change” that will benefit U.S. workers, farmers and ranchers instead of multinational corporations.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement is an “essential pillar in preserving free and fair trade in North America.”
Dr. Jesús Seade Kuri, Mexico’s undersecretary of foreign affairs for North America, said T-MEC is a “wide, forward-looking agreement” that in the end had “massive bipartisan support, both in the United States and Mexico.”
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump has referred to the USMCA as “the largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history.”