Against all odds and despite numerous threats from US President Donald Trump to terminate all trade relationships in North America, a new trade agreement was signed on Friday between Mexico, Canada and the US. Representatives of all three countries gathered in Buenos Aires for the signing of USMCA as the G20 started.
USMCA was hardly the only big news of the week, though. An old Twitter feud was refueled after GM announced the potential closing of five plants in North America, four of them in the US.
Want to know what else happened last week? Keep straight ahead!
A New Administration
On Saturday, Andrés Manuel López Obrador became the new President of Mexico, succeeding Enrique Peña Nieto. This marks the first time a party other than PRI or PAN will be in power in the country.
USMCA, Finally on Paper
On November 30, President Peña Nieto, US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Buenos Aires to sign the finalized USMCA. Although changes are still expected due to negotiations with the Democrats in the US and the Morena administration in Mexico, the deal will now go to ratification in each country.
Besides the potential closing of fives plants, GM announced cuts of 14,000 jobs to cope with changes in market conditions and consumer demands. Trump condemned its actions, especially after being bailed out by the government after filing for bankruptcy in 2009.
Mary Barra, CEO of the company, will meet with legislators from Michigan and Ohio next week to discuss possible courses of action regarding job cuts. Democrats from both states have vowed to change tax, trade and industrial policies to promote investment in the US in light of these changes. “We need to reset our economic policy and put workers at the center,” said Representative Tim Ryan from Lordstown, Ohio, one of the locations affected by GM’s decision.
Volkswagen is planning to reduce production of Jetta at its plant in Puebla to increase Tiguan output. According to Scott Keogh, President of the Volkswagen brand in North America, Tiguan’s segment sells almost three times more than Jetta.
Ford is also restructuring its plants’ layout to increase production of pickup and SUV models. Although this move will cause job cuts at the company’s plant in Kentucky, the company said people affected will be relocated to other nearby facilities so no job losses will ensue.