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July 8, 2020 11:30 AM, EDT

Mexican President Lopez Obrador to Meet With Trump on USMCA

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico's president, waves as he arrives at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 8.Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico's president, waves as he arrives at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 8. (Al Drago/Bloomberg News)

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will on July 8 hold talks with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump during a working visit aimed at marking the launch of the new North American trade agreement, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Lopez Obrador’s first visit abroad since he took office 1½ years ago is meant to strengthen “the strategic alliance” between the neighboring countries, which are among each other’s largest trade partners, the Mexican government said.

The 66-year-old leftist president was due to land in Washington late July 7, according to a program published by Mexico.

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On July 8, he will lay wreaths at two monuments and later hold talks with Trump both in private and in the presence of his delegation, which includes his foreign affairs and economy ministers.

The USMCA was a major early win for Trump, who viewed NAFTA as a bad deal for the U.S. The new agreement updates key parts of NAFTA for the digital era, while also imposing improved labor conditions and reforming sectors like auto manufacturing and dairy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau canceled a meeting with Trump and Lopez Obrador.

The U.S. and Mexican presidents are also expected to discuss other subjects, such as migration, but Lopez Obrador has stressed the importance of USMCA, saying it can help to reactivate North American economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mexican president announced July 7 he had tested negative for the disease.

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