North American Countries and Mexico To Finalise Trade Agreement Deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada will sign a deal finalizing their new trade agreement, capping more than two years of negotiations and paving the way to ratification.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said they had reached a deal sealing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) after a flurry of last-ditch talks.

"There is an initial deal between the governments," the leftist leader told his daily news conference, as negotiators from the three countries prepared to meet in Mexico City.

"Today it will be signed by the three countries' negotiators."

The Mexican President will chair the meeting of top officials from the three countries at the presidential palace at 1800 GMT.

Initially signed in November 2018, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is meant to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

But Mexico is the only country to ratify it so far.

In Washington, opposition Democrats are acutely aware of the need to win back blue-collar voters they lost to Trump in 2016 and have insisted on greater oversight of Mexican labour reforms promised under the new deal, including wage hikes and increased power for unions.

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