Appearing alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump hailed the ceremonial signing Friday of the new USMCA trade agreement and framed it as the conclusion of an at times contentious fight that has produced "great friendships" for the three leaders.
While Trump hailed the revised trade pact, Trudeau was more measured, saying there was still work to be done and calling on Trump - using his first name - to remove steel and aluminum tariffs the USA imposed on Canada and Mexico.
He also addressed the president as "Donald" in arguing the tariffs need to be removed.
The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
According to Trump, all sides will benefit from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA which he said "is probably the largest trade deal ever made".
And even as Trump, Trudeau and Peña Nieto - on his final day in office -signed the accord on the sidelines of the summit, officials from the three countries continued to haggle over terms for lifting USA tariffs, according to The Washington Post.
USMCA also leaves unresolved the USA tariffs on steel and aluminium from Canada and Mexico.
"In the U.S., the new trade pact will support high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for American exports across the range of sectors including our farming, manufacturing and service industries", Trump said.
The new agreement requires that signatories allow equal copyright treatment for writers, composers and others from member countries, requiring a minimum term of the author's life plus 70 years for copyrighted works.
Canadian President Trudeau, who has had a rocky relationship with Trump, described the agreement as the "new NAFTA".
The agreement sets new rules on agriculture, technology and auto imports, protects autoworkers' jobs in the US and opens Canada to American dairy products.
Trudeau has shown contempt for the USMCA name, saying sarcastically at a Toronto business convention in October that the new name made a "big" difference in its quality.
The agreement replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Our great Country is extremely well represented. The U.S. leader has touched off a global showdown over trade by threatening a broad range of tariffs to force changes in trade practices that he considers unfair to American industry.
The Friday deadline is important as new Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado is being swore into office on Saturday and he could scramble the hard-fought agreement between the three nations.
It was unclear what exactly the three countries have signed.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) opens 3.6 per cent of Canada's dairy market to tariff-free imports and limits Canada's global dairy exports of skim-milk powder, baby formula and milk-protein concentrates.
Legislative approval is the next step in the process, but could prove to be a hard task in the United States, especially now that Democrats - instead of Trump's Republicans - will control the House of Representatives come January.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks to media on the roof of the Panamericano Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, to attend the G20 summit.
"Uncertainty that would only have got worse if we had not reached a new NAFTA".
Trump praised the deal in the lavish language he uses when touting one of his administration's accomplishments.
Legislatures from Mexico and Canada, as well as Congress, must approve the deal before it is finalized. It will also require "that 40-45% of a vehicle consist of content manufactured by North American workers making at least $16 per hour".