Trump uses state of the union speech to urge Congress to approve USMCA

U.S. President Donald Trump is using tonight's state of the union speech to urge members of Congress to approve the new trilateral trade deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Trump sang the praises of the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement and derided its predecessor, NAFTA, as a historic trade blunder.

He described meeting men and women across Rust Belt states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania whose livelihoods were destroyed by the 1994 trilateral trade pact, and who for years heard promises of a new, modernized agreement that were never fulfilled.

He says the USMCA will restore manufacturing jobs in the U.S., expand the country's agriculture sector, protect American intellectual property and produce more American-built automobiles.

Whether Congress will ratify the new trade agreement remains an open question.

Democrats, who won control of the House of Representatives in last year's midterm elections, have expressed misgivings about the deal, in particular what they say is a lack of enforcement tools for the deal's labour and environmental protection provisions.