On November 30, 2018, the United States, Mexico, Canada signed a new trade agreement (referred to by the US as the USMCA) intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is understood that at the signing ceremony, US President Trump, Mexican President Peña Nieto and the Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau signed an authorization for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer, and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo to sign the actual agreement. The agreement was signed by the outgoing Mexican administration on President Peña Nieto’s last day in office.
Canada, the United States and Mexico will now move forward with their respective domestic procedures toward the ratification and implementation of the new trade agreement. US passage is not assured in the next Congress due to opposition from labor groups and conservatives in the US President’s party. However, President Trump has said he will file a formal notification withdrawing the US from NAFTA. Although the withdrawal notification must be given six months prior to actual withdrawal, it is not clear that the President can withdraw from NAFTA without Congressional approval since legislation was used to implement NAFTA.