New NAFTA is now signed, but nobody knows what to call it
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed as a replacement to NAFTA on Friday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but there still seems to be some confusion over what to call it.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not refer to the new agreement as USMCA on Friday, as U.S. President Donald Trump has called it, but instead simply referred to it as the “new NAFTA.”
To add to the confusion, on Canada’s official government website, the agreement is called CUSMA, putting “Canada” at the front rather than the back.
Meanwhile, Mexico will officially be calling the agreement Tratado México Estados Unidos Canadá (TMEUC), while the Mexican media is calling it “T-MEC,” a shortened abbreviation of TMEUC.
WATCH: Trudeau refers to USMCA only as ‘new NAFTA’
Trump, who made a business out of branding, has expressed that he likes the USMCA name, saying it has a “good ring to it” when he announced the new name on October 1. He said that NAFTA had a bad connotation in the U.S. due to the negative effects of the agreement in the country, and that it is better to start fresh. At rallies, Trump suggested to think of YMCA to remember the name.
WATCH: Trump tells people to think of YMCA when trying to remember new NAFTA deal
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Friday that Canada is calling the deal CUSMA because all Canadian treaties in Canadian documents begin with Canada. To avoid confusion, she has opted to called it “new NAFTA.”
Trudeau has shown contempt for the USMCA name, saying sarcastically at a Toronto business convention in October that the new name made a “big” difference in its quality.
WATCH: Trudeau needles Trump with obsequious praise of ‘new NAFTA’ name
The new NAFTA deal was drafted on September 30, after a month of rocky negotiations. Trump had commented how the U.S. did not like Canada’s negotiation style. “We don’t like their representative much,” Trump said in late September, potentially referring to Freeland.
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