President Donald Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Wednesday, a monumental achievement for his presidency.
The deal with the United States, Mexico, and Canada replaces what the president described as the “NAFTA nightmare” that devastated American manufacturing.
The president spoke from the heart, during a speech promoting the deal, noting that it was one of his lifetime goals to fix lousy trade deals in the United States.
“This is something we really put our heart into,” Trump said. “It’s probably the number one reason that I decided to lead this crazy life that I’m leading right now as opposed to that beautiful, simple life of luxury that I led before this happened. But I love doing it.”
Trump criticized past politicians for failing to do anything on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) despite campaign promises to do so.
“They never even gave it a shot. They sold out,” Trump said. “But I’m not like those other politicians, I guess, in many ways. I keep my promises, and I’m fighting for the American worker.”
The president hosted a signing ceremony with hundreds of government officials on the South Lawn of the White House, as American workers, farmers, and cattle ranchers stood in the background.
“This is a colossal victory for our farmers, ranchers, energy workers factory workers, and American workers in all 50 states,” Trump said.
The president acknowledged the hundreds of people who worked on the deal, singling out United States senators for attending the event.
“Maybe I’m just being nice to them because I want their vote,” Trump joked, referring to the impeachment trial in the Senate. “Does that make sense? I don’t want to leave anybody out.”
About two dozen Republican senators attended the ceremony and many Republican members of Congress.
No Democrats were on the guest list for the event or spotted in the crowd.
After the president signed the bill, he handed out ceremonial pens to Republican members of Congress who gathered to witness the monumental event.
“I don’t care about anybody else. I only care about the senators,” Trump joked as he gave out the pens.
Business leaders including General Motors CEO Mary Barra and representatives from Ford and Chrysler also attended the ceremony.
“They are all investing in a future where we buy, hire, and drive American cars again,” Trump said, noting recent investments in the United States from American automakers.
Vice President Mike Pence thanked Trump for tirelessly pursuing a replacement to NAFTA, noting that “as a son of the heartland” he saw what it did to Midwest communities.
“Today thanks to your leadership we’ll leave behind the failed policies of the past and have a new trade deal that will benefit every American,” Pence said.
United States Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer also spoke at the ceremony, detailing the exhaustive and very detailed process that took three years to complete.
“All I can say, if you’ll pardon the appropriation, promise made and three years later, promise kept,” he concluded, referring back to one of Trump’s slogans for 2020.