Canada says it takes Trump's talk of NAFTA withdrawal seriously

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The President needs to talk to Congress on this.

"Revamping the new trade agreement was aimed to preserve the view of an integrated North America with the firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive", he said in remarks translated from Spanish.

Trump said on Saturday he would give formal notice of his intention to terminate NAFTA, giving six months for lawmakers to approve the new U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

"I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route from the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Argentina, according to a White House press release.

AP via CP Former President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto, left, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, participate in the USMCA signing ceremony, November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"President Donald Trump and Secretary Sonny Perdue have done a great service for all Americans in getting this done", he noted "It's exactly what President Trump set out to do with revising these trade deals and making them even better".

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Seeking to gain leverage with sceptical lawmakers to approve the revised trade pact, Trump says Congress "will have a choice" as it considers the agreement he signed with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Friday during the Group of 20 summit.

A 2016 congressional research report said there is a debate over whether a president can withdraw from a trade deal without the consent of Congress, and there is no historical precedent for the unilateral withdrawal from an free trade deal by a president that had been approved by Congress.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of OH says the USA needs to reopen discussions with Mexico and Canada on trade.

Congressional Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, who is in line to become Speaker of the House in January, have criticized the proposed NAFTA replacement as not going far enough to protect the environment or workers in the U.S. Mexico.

It will require approval from each country's legislature, and in the U.S., Democrats in Congress, in particular, have voiced concerns about its labor and environmental protections.

In a blog entry posted shortly after the agreement was signed Friday, Cato Institute trade analyst Simon Lester appeared to anticipate Trump's move - although he acknowledged it would have made a lot more sense if the Republicans still had control of Congress.

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