President Trump, with outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on a telephone link into the Oval Office, Monday revealed an agreement between the nations on a new trade pact he dubbed the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.
It essentially would replace the provisions governing trade with the U.S. under the North America Free Trade Agreement, which Trump consistently has blasted as a lousy deal for the United States.
No details on the agreement were released, as they were being finalized ahead of a formal announcement.
But Trump said the next negotiating partner, if willing, is Canada.
The president called the new outline for trade a “really good deal for both countries.”
Nieto confirmed through a translator that his elected successor has affirmed the agreement.
Nieto said, “It is our wish, Mr. President, that now Canada will also be able to be incorporated.”
Trump said the provisions will make trade better and simpler for both countries.
The “understanding,” as Trump described it, will be formalized soon.
Stocks went up immediately after Trump’s announcement, with the Dow hovering above 26,000 and the Nasdaq surged passed 8,000 for the first time. (The Dow jumped 259 points for the day, closing at 26,049.64).
“The market has been buffeted with a lot of headwinds lately, and the biggest one is trade,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR, CNBC reported. “If you were to take trade out of the picture, you would have a smoother ride higher in this market.”
Mexican Economic Minister Ildefonso Guajardo confirmed Sunday the two nations were close to resolving remaining differences on trade.
President Trump tweeted Sunday the prospects were “looking good.”
He later revealed it was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, trade deals ever.
“It’s a big day for trade. A big day for our country. A lot of people felt we’d never get here,” he said.
“Our farmers are going to be so happy,” Trump said, “Farmers have stuck with me. … Mexico has promised to immediately start purchasing as much farm product as they can.”
The worldwide markets have been roiled in recent months as Trump has taken direct action to equalize the conditions for trade.
He’s slapped tariffs on nations that charge the U.S. tariffs, warning that Washington no longer will tolerate an imbalanced economy that disfavors the U.S.
There was no word whether or not Trump’s major campaign issue, a border security wall on the U.S. southern border, was part of the deal.
However, work already has begun. A new 20-mile section is being built in an area that Washington watchdog Judicial Watch identified years ago as a “hotbed of Islamic terrorism,” where ISIS cells operate and Juárez Cartel smugglers help terrorists through the desert and across the border.