President Donald Trump took a victory lap at a White House ceremony on Wednesday as he signed implementing legislation into law for a new trade agreement involving the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, a deal which the President predicted would boost American economic growth across a wide range of the nation.
"Everybody said this was a deal which could not be done," the President said on the South Lawn of the White House.
"Today we are finally ending the NAFTA nightmare," Mr. Trump added, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was the precursor to the USMCA deal.
"This is a colossal victory for our farmers, ranchers, energy workers, factory workers, and American workers in all fifty states," the President said.
Between low prices and bad weather, American farmers have been dealt a tough hand these past few years.— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) January 29, 2020
Thanks to #USMCA, relief is on the way.
#USMCA will level the playing field for American farmers and expand ag exports by upwards of $2 billion a year. pic.twitter.com/NcUTcYTxf3
How much new economic growth the deal will spur is the subject of differences among economic experts.
The President predicted the deal will boost the Gross Domestic Product of the U.S. by 1.2 percent - but trade experts in the Trump Administration have pegged the number at about one-third of that prediction.
Government experts also say the President's higher tariffs on imports from China, Europe, and more will hold back on economic growth, possibly offsetting any gains from the USMCA deal.
No matter the final outcome, Republicans heralded the final approval of the plan, which seems certain to be frequently talked about on the 2020 campaign trail by the GOP, and the President.
"It includes a cutting-edge digital trade chapter that will bring North American commerce into the 21st Century," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
One thing which was missing at the signing ceremony were Democrats in the Congress, who voted overwhelmingly for the deal in both the House and Senate.
House Dems were not invited to Trump's USMCA signing today at 11.— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) January 29, 2020
Pelosi spox Henry Connelly: "We'll be well represented in the huge changes to the original USMCA draft that Democrats wrested out of the Administration on labor, prescription drugs, environment and enforcement."
“The original USMCA draft put forward by the Trump Administration left American workers exposed to losing their jobs to Mexico, included unacceptable provisions to lock in high prescription drug prices and fell short of key environmental standards,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this month, as Democrats said they were fine with not being invited to the White House.