Canada and USA agree last-minute trade deal

01 October, 2018, 12:55 | Author: Carlos George
  • The women commemorated the victims of gender and sexual-based violence by remembering the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal

"Today, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)", the USA and Canada said in a joint statement Sunday.

The White House's Peter Navarro said "everybody's speaking in good faith right now as we speak", on Fox Sunday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that it was a "good day for Canada" when leaving his office on Sunday.

The two sides are discussing the last sticking points, including greater market access for US supplies into Canada's dairy market, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussion are private.

The deal will preserve a trade dispute settlement mechanism that Canada fought hard to maintain to protect its lumber industry and other sectors from USA anti-dumping tariffs, Canadian sources said.

Canada, the US' second largest trade partner, was excluded from a revamped NAFTA deal separately negotiated between Mexico and the United States in August after nearly a year of negotiations. He blames the treaty for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and has repeatedly threatened to abandon the trade past signed in 1994, during the Clinton administration.

Diplomats from all three countries engaged in a flurry of telephone consultations over the weekend, reviving hopes of preserving the three-country format of the original North American Free Trade Agreement favored by business groups and congressional Republicans.

Negotiators for the U.S. and Canada were able to overcome major sticking points between the two countries, including Canada's protection of its dairy market and a system for settling trade disputes.

Mr. Trump had said he wanted to go ahead with a revamped NAFTA - with or without Canada.

But the deal failed to resolve U.S. tariffs on Canada's steel and aluminium exports.

A revised Nafta that includes Canada has a far greater chance of being ratified by Congress but its fate is still somewhat uncertain.

US stock index futures rose, with S&P 500 Index e-mini futures up more than 0.5 percent, suggesting the benchmark index would open near a record on Monday.

Congress gave Trump's administration authority to renegotiate a trilateral continental free trade pact, which requires a 60-day notice and publication of the text of any agreement.

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Next, the dispute settlement mechanism is going to remain in place, which is something that Canada pushed for, she pointed out.

"We celebrate a trilateral deal".

Canada also appears ready to accept assurances that steel and aluminium tariffs that Trump has imposed will be lifted, though it remains unclear whether the taxes would be replaced by quotas that limit metal imports.

Political deadlines are often fuzzy but Canada and the USA appear to be working towards some major compromises and a NAFTA deal.

"Lots of progress, but we're not there yet", MacNaughton told reporters.

The United States and Mexico want to push a deal they separately negotiated through their respective legislatures before Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office on December 1.

A side letter published along with the main text of the agreement exempts a percentage of eligible auto exports from the tariffs.

The agreement reached Sunday gives United States farmers greater access to the Canadian dairy market.

Last month, Trump announced his negotiators had reached a bilateral deal with Mexico.

"Though markets were already anticipating an agreement, one source of worry will be swept away if a deal is made", Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, said.

But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts imported into the United States.

Despite the fact that Ottawa had long pushed back hard against allowing the deal to be periodically revisited, officials in the US briefing said the new language includes a provision that will indeed see the deal reviewed every six years.

By Monday morning "You'll have some news one way or the other", USA trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Fox News Sunday morning.

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