Despite his previous doubts about the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Mexico’s poorest denizens, this country’s president-elect is expected to instruct his party’s legislators to give a thumbs up to the updated version, to be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Talking to the media Monday after the United States and Canada successfully concluded their talks, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed his approval of the negotiated deal, in which several of his collaborators had participated in recent months.
Specifically, Lopez Obrador highlighted three areas of the deal that he is particularly pleased about: the commitment to boosting the salaries of workers in the automotive industry in Mexico, a paragraph that explicitly safeguards this country’s sovereignty over its oil reserves and the overall premise of an agreement that seeks to create favorable conditions for investment and long-term employment.
Mexico’s business community also hailed the new deal, ending 18 months of uncertainty during which U.S. President Donald Trump had frequently harangued Mexico and threatened to dump the 25-year-old trade treaty.
In fact, in a spirit of real generosity, Lopez Obrador praised Trump this week for his “tolerant” and “open” attitude to the talks. After a phone call between the two on Tuesday, Trump repaid the compliment, suggesting the two would share a good relationship.