U.S. Treasury chief Mnuchin says optimistic about U.S.-UK trade deal By Reuters


© Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at Chatham House in London

By Elizabeth Howcroft and William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he was optimistic the United States and Britain, soon to be out of the European Union, would strike a trade deal this year and that he had discussed it with Britain’s finance minister on Saturday.

U.S. President Donald Trump is keen for progress on trade talks before November’s presidential election, while in Britain the prospect of a deal has been touted by Brexit supporters as a way to offset the impact of leaving the EU and to exert leverage over the bloc in trade talks between London and Brussels.

“I’m quite optimistic. I think the prime minister and the president have a very good relationship,” Mnuchin told an audience at the Chatham House think tank in London.

Mnuchin said he had a breakfast meeting with his British counterpart minister Sajid Javid on Saturday, having also spoken to him this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We’re focused on trying to get this done this year because we think it’s important to both of us,” he said.

After the United States recently concluded the initial phase of a trade agreement with China, deals with Britain and the European Union were now the priority, Mnuchin said.

While Mnuchin conceded that Britain may need to finalize some issues with the EU before it could discuss them with Washington, he didn’t see this leading to a delay.

“I think a lot of the issues can be dealt with simultaneously and again we look forward to continuing a great trade relationship, and, if anything, I think there will be significantly more trade between the U.S. and the UK,” he said.

Asked by a reporter if Britain’s plan to implement a digital services tax on U.S. technology giants such as Facebook (O:) and Google (O:) could hinder the trade negotiations, Mnuchin said that he discussed the issue on Saturday with Javid.

Washington is threatening to put tariffs on products from the EU’s member states if they follow through with a plan to introduce a new tax on U.S. tech giants.

“The U.S. feels very strongly that any tax that is designed specifically on digital companies is a discriminatory tax and is not appropriate,” Mnuchin said.

Britain has said it intends to implement the tax, while France has put off its plans to wait for broader negotiations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Mnuchin said he wanted to narrow the U.S. trade deficit with the EU but that differences between the bloc’s member states would complicate negotiations.

“When we talk about the EU, one of the challenges is some of these issues are really only a couple of countries, but I think, as you know, because of the EU we can’t negotiate these things on a bilateral basis,” he said.

“One of the challenges of dealing with the EU is even within the EU they have different views,” he added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Exclusive: Trump to sign USMCA trade deal Wednesday at the White House – source


U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One to depart for travel to Florida at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

DORAL, Fla. (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday during a ceremony at the White House, an administration official told Reuters on Thursday.

Invitations had been sent out and the White House location would allow lawmakers from all over the country to attend, the official said.

The ceremony is likely to take place while an impeachment trial against Trump proceeds on Capitol Hill.

The official said Trump would be touting the pact after the signing during travel around the United States.

“This is a major accomplishment for the president and he will be taking this on the road in the coming weeks,” the official said.

Trump has made pursuing new trade deals a signature of his presidency and one of his key promises as a political candidate. The Republican president is running for re-election this year.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces NAFTA, still needs to be formally approved by Canada.

The deal cannot take effect until it has been ratified by all three member nations. Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation, sending the measure to Trump for him to sign into law.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler and Tom Brown



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U.S. economy to coast, no big boost expected from trade deal: Reuters poll By Reuters



By Rahul Karunakar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The initial trade deal between Washington and Beijing is unlikely to provide a significant boost to the U.S. economy and will only reduce the downside risk or at best help activity moderately, a Reuters poll showed.

While financial markets were optimistic in the run-up to and after the trade agreement – with U.S. stocks hitting all-time highs last week – the growth and inflation outlook in the latest poll was little changed from the previous few months.

The Jan. 16-22 Reuters poll of over 100 economists – taken as business leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos to be greeted by the IMF cutting its global growth forecasts again – showed a significant pickup in the U.S. economy was not on the cards.

“The recent Phase 1 deal between the U.S. and China suggests decreasing odds of an escalation to a full-blown trade war. However, the deal so far is not comprehensive enough to significantly boost economic momentum,” said Janwillem Acket, chief economist at Julius Baer.

That was also clear from predictions for the Federal Reserve to remain on the sidelines this year and on expectations the next likely move would be a cut rather than a hike.

“It is almost a one-way bet on the Fed right now, that either they are on hold or they are easing this year. I mean there is virtually no chance of tightening,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities.

Reuters polls over the past couple of years have repeatedly pointed to the U.S.-China trade war as the prominent downside risk for the American economy and warned it would bring the next recession closer.

Now, despite a signed trade agreement, albeit a partial one, the chances of a U.S. recession were similar to predictions in recent months – around 20-25% in the next 12 months and about 30-35% in the next two years.

“Recession odds, which we peg at roughly one-in-four in 2020, will wax and wane with developments on the trade war front,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO.

“While recent progress is encouraging, we remain skeptical that a broad accord can be reached this year as complex issues, such as state industry subsidies and forced technology transfers, still need to be resolved.”

All 53 respondents polled said the latest deal would either “reduce the downside risk to the U.S. economy” or “help U.S. economic growth moderately.” Not a single economist said it would “significantly boost growth.”

Reuters poll graphic on the U.S. economic outlook https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/USA-ECONOMY-POLL/0H001QXXSBK3/index.html?eikon=true

The U.S. economy will coast with annualized growth expected to have barely moved from the latest reported rate of 2.1% at the end of the forecast horizon – the second quarter of 2021.

“The growth slowdown has probably troughed, but we do not anticipate a V-shaped recovery,” noted Kevin Loane, senior economist at Fathom Consulting.

While the schism in forecasters’ views was clear, with 28 respondents saying the risks to their growth forecasts were skewed more to the upside and 22 seeing downside risks, most economists agreed any significant boost was unlikely.

That was largely attributed to several other events which could prove disrupting – including a period of uncertainty in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election in November.

“Our views for 2020 are upbeat but cautious. A rebound from last year’s global manufacturing and trade slump is likely, but businesses will be hesitant to invest amid a host of ongoing uncertainties,” said James Sweeney, chief economist at Credit Suisse (SIX:).

With little change expected in the inflation outlook compared to recent months, all 105 economists polled forecast the Fed would keep rates unchanged at 1.50-1.75% when it meets Jan. 28-29.

The Fed was forecast to extend that pause through to the end of 2021 at least, with the probability of a rate cut this year seen at 30%.

While there was a clear sense of near-term optimism among economists compared with last year, nearly 75% of respondents forecast growth to be below the latest reported rate of 2.1% by mid-2021, up from around 60% in December.

“The (trade) deal may encourage some business investment in the near-term, but the deal is only a temporary and unstable equilibrium. It is very likely to break down, and that would undermine confidence again. So any boost to economic growth will be short-lived,” said Philip Marey, senior U.S. strategist at Rabobank.

Reuters poll graphic on U.S. recession probability https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/USA-ECONOMY-POLL/0H001PBJD5BF/index.html?eikon=true

(Additional reporting, polling and analysis by Indradip Ghosh, Sumanto Mondal and Nagamani Lingappa; Editing by Ross Finley and Andrea Ricci)



U.S. Agriculture Secretary says no need for more farm aid after China trade deal By Reuters



By Mark Weinraub

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – With China poised to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural goods this year as part of a Phase 1 China trade deal, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary said on Monday there is no need for a third year of trade-related aid for farmers.

Farmers have increasingly relied on aid from the U.S. government to survive during the past two years as exports have lagged throughout the U.S.-China trade war. But USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said China will soon begin buying U.S. farm goods to meet the $40 billion in agricultural purchase agreements it made, alleviating growers’ need for more aid.

China, which typically buys the bulk of its U.S. agriculture products during the fall and early winter, will likely change the timing of its purchases, Perdue said.

“If China is going to achieve that, and we believe they are, we think they have to buy earlier than the traditional export season from the United States,” said Perdue, speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention.

His remarks came one day after U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the convention, promising farmers that the deal will be good for them.

Washington and Beijing signed the pact on Jan. 15, though tariffs on major U.S. farm exports have not been removed and structural economic differences were not addressed.

Perdue said the third tranche of a $16 billion aid package announced in May will be paid to farmers “imminently,” but that they should not expect a 2020 aid package.

China bought roughly 60% of U.S. soybean exports before the trade war and also was a major buyer of sorghum, dairy and pork.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said Chinese firms will buy American products, “based on market conditions,” raising doubts that the country will meet its commitments under the pact.

Growers are used to dealing with seasonality in the export program and could afford to wait without fresh trade aid, said Lane Osswald, 44, a farmer from Eldorado, Ohio.

“Everyone is prepared for the South American harvest to hit the market every year,” Osswald said.Soybean futures have dropped 1.3% since the trade deal was signed.

The China deal, and the recent passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, will allow farmers to prosper, Perdue said.

Trump gained support among American farm families at the end of 2019, Reuters/Ipsos poll data showed, as Trump touted the trade deal ahead of its signing. Farmers broadly voted for Trump in 2016.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Gold Prices Inch Up as Traders Weigh Trade Deal Impact on Markets By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Alex Ho

Investing.com – Gold prices inched up on Monday in Asia amid speculation of the potential success of the U.S.-China trade deal that was signed last week.

for February delivery on New York’s COMEX traded 0.1% higher at $1,562.05 by 1:27 AM ET (05:27 GMT).

The yellow metal initially fell China agreed to purchase at least $200 billion worth of US goods over the next two yearslast week, but recovered some of its losses as analysts began to question the potential success of the deal, and the chances of the trade war recurring with both nations keeping much of the tariffs they had imposed on each other prior to the agreement.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Commerce Department reported strong U.S. housing starts and retail sales figure last Friday, reducing chances that the Federal Reserve would cut rates later this month.

The Fed slashed rates by a quarter percent point for three months back to back in 2019, before bringing that easing cycle to a halt in December. With U.S. economic data mostly upbeat now, analysts do not expect the central bank to embark on a new round of cuts unless the trade war recurs.

“Following a noteworthy positioning squeeze, the yellow metal is creeping higher once again,” TD Securities said in a note. “Along with positive expectations for growth comes the potential for inflation to creep higher, and without a commensurate Fed response, this would translate into lower real rates.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Gold Rebounds as China Deal Doubts Grow; Palladium Smashes Record    By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – It seems difficult to keep down gold more than a day with the back-and-forth speculation of the success of the U.S.-China deal. More interestingly, it’s seems impossible to push down palladium, which hit record highs again Friday on supply concerns.

for February delivery on New York’s COMEX settled up $3.10, or 0.6%, at $1,560.30 per ounce. For the week, it was flat.

, which tracks live trades in bullion, was up $7.91, or 0.5%, at $1,560.45. For the week, it was down 0.1%.

Gold prices initially fell after China agreed to purchase at least $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years under the phase one deal signed on Wednesday between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump.

But as the days progressed, analysts have questioned the potential success of the deal and the chances of the trade war recurring with both nations keeping much of the tariffs they had imposed on each other prior to the agreement.

“Following a noteworthy positioning squeeze, the yellow metal is creeping higher once again,” TD Securities said in a note. “Along with positive expectations for growth comes the potential for inflation to creep higher, and without a commensurate Fed response, this would translate into lower real rates.”

The Federal Reserve cut rates by a quarter percent point for three months back to back in 2019, before bringing that easing cycle to a halt in December. With U.S. economic data mostly upbeat now, analysts do not expect the central bank to embark on a new round of cuts unless the trade war recurs.

jumped a whopping $177, or 7.7%, to $2,490 per ounce. It earlier hit an all-time high of $2,539.31.

were up up $77.45, or 3.6%, at $2,255.25, after touching a record high of $2,298.35.

Palladium led gains across commodities in 2019, with a 55% gain. It is up more than 28% year to date.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Forex – U.S. Dollar, CNY steady after trade deal By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Cornelia Zou

Investing.com – The dollar and the remained steady a day after China and the U.S. signed a phase one trade deal aimed at easing tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

The signing of the deal on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the U.S. helped equities markets and lent some stability to currencies.

The that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was slightly lower, down 0.02% to 97.30 by 8:30 PM ET (01:30 GMT). The index has remained strong after falling at the beginning of the year.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the reference rate for the yuan at 6.8878 on Friday, compared to 6.8807 on Thursday. The pair was essentially flat, down 0.01% to 6.8759 on Friday morning.

China’s economy grew 6.1% through 2019, the lowest rate of growth since 1990, according to numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics Friday morning. The growth rate is lower than market expectations of 6.2% but within the 6% to 6.5% the central government set in early 2019.

Growth in the fourth quarter was 6%, unchanged from the previous quarter.

The Friday data follows the release of monthly export and import numbers earlier in the week that showed exports rising in December for the first time in five months and import growth beating estimates. Exports from China rose 7.6% year on year in December while imports jumped 16.3%, the largest monthly jump in more than a year.

The yen continued to weaken against the greenback. The pair was up 0.04% to 110.19.

The pair was down 0.17% and the pair lost 0.08%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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EU Trade Chief Calls Trump ‘Obsessed,’ Attacks U.S.-China Deal By Bloomberg


© Reuters. EU Trade Chief Calls Trump ‘Obsessed,’ Attacks U.S.-China Deal

(Bloomberg) — Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. 

The European Union’s new trade chief pulled no punches on an inaugural visit to Washington, saying President Donald Trump’s tariff threats amount to short-sighted electioneering and warning him about widespread economic damage from protectionism.

Phil Hogan said Trump’s “America First” agenda has helped bring about “a high-pressure crisis moment for the international trading system.” He urged the U.S. government to work with the EU to uphold open commerce.

“If we go about this in the right way, working together, the mutual benefits can be very significant,” Hogan told a conference in the U.S. capital on Thursday. “But, if we fail to do so, the damage will be significant, not alone for us both, but for the world.”

Hogan is seeking to prevent a deterioration in transatlantic commercial ties that have been fraying for months as a result of disagreements over everything from aircraft subsidies to farm tariffs. He spoke bluntly about growing EU unhappiness over U.S. unilateralism, saying it was driven by Trump’s desire for re-election.

‘Managed Trade’

“It’s short-term thinking,” Hogan said in a separate video interview with Global Counsel Chairman Peter Mandelson, a former EU trade commissioner. “Between now and the November elections is what Mr. Trump is thinking about.”

Hogan took a swipe at a preliminary trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China, saying the deal smacked of “managed trade” and threatening an EU complaint to the World Trade Organization. The pact was signed with much fanfare in Washington on Wednesday, two days after Hogan arrived in the city.

The EU is concerned about a Chinese pledge in the accord to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.

“We haven’t analyzed the document in detail, but we will, and if there’s a WTO-compliance issue of course we will take the case,” Hogan told the Washington conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We’re not trigger-happy about taking cases to the WTO — we don’t want to create that impression. But we’ll stand up for our own economic interests.”

Hogan said Trump is misguidedly “obsessed” with a U.S. deficit in goods trade with the bloc and should also take into account services, where the country has a $60 billion surplus. Altogether, transatlantic trade in goods and services is worth over $3 billion a day, according to Hogan.

“Sounds like a fairly healthy relationship to me,” he said. “So why put tariffs on these EU products to make them more expensive for your people?”

‘Let’s Talk’

Hogan sharply criticized the Trump administration’s invocation of national security to apply duties in 2018 on EU steel and aluminum, and threaten similar levies on European cars and auto parts. The metal duties prompted tit-for-tat EU tariffs, and the bloc has pledged to react the same way were European automotive goods to be targeted.

“We reject the U.S. labeling the EU as a security risk in order to justify the imposition on tariffs,” Hogan said. “This narrative is hurtful to both our people.”

The two sides are locked in arguments on other points too, including:

  • A U.S. threat to hit $2.4 billion of French goods with tariffs as retaliation over a digital tax in France
  • A deadlock on the WTO’s appellate body caused by a U.S. refusal to consider new panelists
  • U.S. tariffs on a range of European products following a WTO ruling about illegal aid to Airbus
  • American demands to add agriculture to the agenda of talks that are due to address charges on industrial goods

Hogan, who has met U.S. government officials as well as member of Congress this week, pleaded for a more diplomatic and collaborative approach from the Trump administration.

“If we continue to beat each other up then the future risks being lost to new competitors,” Hogan said. “Let’s talk, let’s cooperate, let’s lead.”





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Economists Don’t See Any U.S. Growth Bump From U.S.-China Deal By Bloomberg



(Bloomberg) — Economists played down the prospect that the first phase of a trade deal signed this week by the U.S. and China will lift American economic growth in 2020, contradicting the optimism of the Trump administration.

The American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee– a group of chief economists from large banks including Citigroup Inc (NYSE:). and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) — forecast gross domestic product growth would slow to 1.9% in 2019 and stay there in 2020. That’s well below the 2.5% pace floated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a Fox News interview on Sunday. A Bloomberg survey conducted earlier this month estimated the U.S. economy expanded 2.3% last year and will grow 1.8% this year.

The economists cited lingering trade uncertainty as a risk during a press conference in Washington on Thursday, but said strong wage growth, low unemployment and continued job gains would ensure that consumer spending continues to support expansion.

“The concern is that there is still a lot of uncertainty about the relationship, not just between the U.S. and China, but also potential other trade uncertainties going forward with regard to other regions,” Catherine Mann, the committee’s chair and Citi’s global chief economist, told reporters.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S. Senate passes North America trade deal, Canada still to approve


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a revamp of the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement that includes tougher rules on labor and automotive content but leaves $1.2 trillion in annual U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade flows largely unchanged.

FILE PHOTO: Flags of the U.S., Canada and Mexico fly next to each other in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

The legislation to implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement passed on an 89-10 bipartisan vote, sending the measure to President Donald Trump for him to sign into law.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation on Dec. 19 after hammering out changes to ensure better enforcement of labor rights and tighter environmental rules during months of often contentious negotiations with the Trump administration.

The Senate vote came a day after Trump signed a long-awaited Phase 1 trade deal with China, and shortly before the Senate formally began the impeachment trial of Trump on charges that he abused his power.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump’s efforts to rebalance U.S. ties with its major trading partners were bearing fruit, and boosting U.S. economic growth.

“This historic agreement not only modernizes and rebalances our trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, but it promotes economic growth, creates jobs, and provides crucial certainty for farmers, workers and manufacturers,” he said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Mnuchin told Fox News that interim trade deal with China and passage of USMCA would boost growth of the U.S. gross domestic product by 50 to 75 basis points.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday called the deal’s approval good news for the Mexican economy, and predicted it would jump start new investments.

Canada still needs to approve the deal before it can take effect and replace NAFTA. It was signed by the leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada in September 2018.

Trump made renegotiating NAFTA a centerpiece of his 2016 election campaign, calling it “the worst trade deal ever made” and blaming it for the loss of thousands of American factory jobs to low-wage Mexico.

He had threatened to cancel NAFTA outright unless Congress acted to approve the replacement deal, sparking uncertainty among business owners and putting a damper on new investment.

The AFL-CIO union federation, which represents some 12.5 million workers across the United States, estimates that some 851,700 U.S. jobs were lost to Mexico because of NAFTA.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with Mexico was $80.7 billion in 2018, compared with a $1.7 billion surplus in 1993, thanks in part to U.S. companies moving manufacturing operations south of the border.

But NAFTA also quadrupled trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico, sending it to $1.2 trillion a year by 2017, and knitting together supply chains across the continent.

Industry groups hailed the trade agreement and said it would provide sorely needed certainty to revive investment flows.

“This trade agreement will serve as a model for future trade agreements, and help grow the U.S. economy as a whole, especially the auto sector and its manufacturing supply chain,” said Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council.

Canada’s parliament does not return to session until Jan. 27, so the scheduling of a vote there remains unclear. But USMCA is expected to see little resistance in Canada, as Conservatives have said they would back the deal negotiated earlier by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal-dominated government.

“Today the Senate will send this landmark agreement to the president’s desk. A big bipartisan win,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst told Fox Business Network that she expected Trump to hold a signing ceremony next week.

The bill was opposed by eight Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent. Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, did not vote.

Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert and Heather Timmons; Writing by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Alistair Bell and Rosalba O’Brien



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