During a speech at a Derco Aerospace facility – which is a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin – in Milwaukee on Friday, he said the new agreement will protect American workers and incentivize companies to keep their operations in the U.S.
“The U.S. was losing jobs and losing plants like nobody’s ever lost before … now were demanding that you get, as people working here and as companies … a level playing field,” Trump said. “[It] will close the biggest loopholes that [led to] the mass exodus of manufacturing.”
About 76,000 brand new American jobs in the auto sector would be created as a result of the deal, he added, while noting it would also be a boon to the country’s farmers.
Overall, he estimated the deal would bring up to 1.2 million new jobs to the country.
Trump referred to the previous NAFTA agreement as one of “the world’s worst trade agreements.” Earlier in the day, he took a swipe at NAFTA, tweeting "We stupidly lost 30% of our auto business to Mexico."
Sources told FOX Business the president would like USMCA ratified by the end of the summer, but he plans to let U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer work with Democrats to iron out their concerns.
Congress is in recess for most of August, so most likely terms would need to be agreed upon before then.
Trump noted on Friday that the approval process is getting more political as the 2020 election draws near.
Lighthizer met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats on Thursday to discuss the deal. As Vice President Mike Pence urged voters in California to call their representatives and push for them to approve the trade deal during a speech in the state earlier this week.
FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.