US President Donald Trump and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts signed a replacement NAFTA deal on Friday during a ceremony on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The ceremonial signing does not mean the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — the USMCA, as it has been rebranded — will now go into effect. The deal still needs to win congressional approval in Washington, where key members of both political parties have already expressed significant concerns.
“I don’t expect to have much of a problem,” Trump said during the ceremony.
The signing ceremony in and of itself represented a political victory for Trump, who has been eager to mark the deal with a formal photo opportunity alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. It was not clear until just a day earlier that the ceremony would go through amid ongoing Canadian protests over US-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.
Top US officials were on hand for the signing ceremony, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, national security adviser John Bolton and the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.