US and Canada Strike a Deal to Save NAFTA


The Times reports that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a Cabinet meeting at 10 Ottawa to discuss the details of the deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and Robert E. Lighthizer, the presidents top negotiator.

USA and Canadian negotiators have been working around the clock this weekend to make a Sunday midnight deadline that would allow the countries to sign the deal before Mexico's outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office on November 30.

The U.S. and Canada are on the verge of a deal after making progress on contentious issues, people familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity as negotiations continue.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the cabinet meeting inside his office across the street from Parliament Hill, where high-level staff and Freeland had been working over the weekend to secure a NAFTA deal.

"In short, we think this is a fantastic agreement for the USA, but also for Canada and Mexico", said the American officials, who cheered the fact that USA dairy ranchers would soon have "substantial" expanded access to lucrative markets north of the border.

The US and Canada have reached a deal on an updated North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to officials briefed on the negotiations.

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A senior USA administration official said the final rewrite is a "fantastic agreement" and he called it "a big win for the United States, Mexico and Canada".

The trade imbalance would change, Trump said in June during a press conference at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada.

In addition, Ottowa has argued tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum imports should be halted as part of a new NAFTA deal.

The news delighted financial markets that had fretted for months about the potential economic damage if NAFTA blew up.

Canada fought hard to retain Chapter 19, a holdover from NAFTA that US trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer fought tooth and nail to eliminate.

The US-Canada deal appears to be a victory for both sides. The executives include two former Canadian ambassadors to the US who now work for banks: Michael Wilson, chairman of Barclays Capital Canada Inc., and TD chairman Frank McKenna.

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Lawmakers from both parties have urged the White House to include Canada in any revised Nafta, warning that excluding Canada, which is America's largest export market, could disrupt supply chains, cost jobs, and slow the USA economy. The president, long a NAFTA critic, complains that the original treaty cost the United States millions of factory jobs and led to persistent USA trade deficits with its southern neighbor.

An agreement on how to treat the auto sector, reached this summer between the United States and Mexico, was central to a revamped NAFTA going ahead.

The new treaty is expected to be signed by President Trump and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts in 60 days, with Congress likely to act on it next year. The agreement also exempts tariffs on 2.6 million automobiles.

WTO-bound tariff rates would then apply.Under that scenario, Canadian exporters could face an additional U.S.$3.5-5 billion in customs duties, equivalent to the value of 1.25 to 1.8 per cent of current exports.

The agreement preserved a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison, the official told The Associated Press ahead of an official announcement. Lawmakers have said they do not expect Congress to vote on the deal until early next year.

The Nafta agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico had been in operation since 1994 but President Trump had threatened pull the US out, claiming that...

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