October 17, 2018 / 3:51 AM / 9 months ago

Mexican president-elect proposes new name for USMCA trade deal

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a rally as part of a tour to thank supporters for his victory in the July 1 election, in Mexico City, Mexico September 29, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that he would propose that the revamped trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada be called T-MEC.

T-MEC (Treaty Mexico, United States, Canada) was the winning choice in a poll Lopez Obrador conducted on his Twitter account to determine an alternate name for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The three countries struck a deal to save the 24-year-old trade pact previously known as the North American Free Trade Agreement in late September after more than a year of tense negotiations.

“I thank all those who participated in this survey that showed a clear preference for T-MEC. I will ask Jesus Seade to share this reading with his negotiating counterparts in President Peña Nieto’s government,” Lopez Obrador wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Lopez Obrador said last week that Seade, his NAFTA negotiator, had told him that the new name - the USMCA, for short - was problematic because it referred to the deal as an “agreement” and not as a “treaty.”

Several Mexican officials who participated in the renegotiation of NAFTA had been promoting the name AMEC for the new pact, which must still be ratified by the three countries’ legislatures.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; writing by Julia Love; editing by Richard Pullin

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