Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Canada, U.S. reach framework deal on NAFTA

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland THE CANADIAN PRESS  Adrian Wyld Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland THE CANADIAN PRESS Adrian Wyld
Orlando Vargas | 02 October, 2018, 16:16

It was essential for the parties to reach the deal, coveted by industries in both states, before midnight, so that it could be signed by outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on his last day in office, December 1.

Trump had made criticism of NAFTA a centerpiece of his successful 2016 election campaign, terming it the worst trade deal in history and blaming NAFTA for the loss of American manufacturing jobs since it went into effect in 1994. This story will be updated.

It is the biggest-ever and the best trade deal in the world - that's how U.S. President Donald Trump and members of his administration are touting a new trade pact they have reached with neighbors Canada and Mexico. To meet that deadline, the text of the agreement had to be submitted to Congress before October. USA administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Sunday night that this was a win for farmers in Wisconsin, New York and elsewhere.

Assuming Canada does join, 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. Getting Congressional approval could be hard, especially if Democrats take control of the House, the officials said.

That's right Mark... the fate of a new trade agreement was all down to an agreement between the US and Canada.

Peter Clark, an Ottawa trade consultant, said the U.S.is trying to "control our negotiations with China" with an unusual provision that had not been discussed publicly until now.

U.S. President Donald Trump hasn't lifted the 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel or the 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum, which has stressed out stakeholders.

Chapter 19, which the US had wanted eliminated and was a significant sticking point for Canada, remains in full. So far this year, the trade deficit with Mexico is even larger. "There are several sticking points", he added. Canada had demanded protection from Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Dairy Farmers of Canada issued a terse statement saying the deal would grant an expanded 3.6-per-cent market access to the domestic dairy market and eliminate competitive dairy classes, which the group says will shrink the Canadian industry.

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Those goals were achieved in the deal reached late Sunday, according to a Canadian official with knowledge of the negotiations.

"And I'm not talking about Mexico, Canada".

Trump said it was unfair and economically crippling to dairy farmers. But López Obrador said Friday that he would not try to reopen talks, calling into question the validity of the negotiators' self-imposed deadline. "NAFTA has had many critics over the years and its flaws are well-known", said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.

Canada had resisted American moves to remove the provision, keen to be able to challenge USA trade penalties.

Canada has agreed to provide USA dairy farmers access to about 3.5 percent of its approximately $16 billion annual domestic dairy market. The two USA neighbors account for a combined one third of US food and agriculture exports and imports.

He sent his "highest regards" to Trudeau, and said that the new deal has created a great partnership with Mexico and Canada.

Auto rules: Members must produce 75% of a vehicle for it to pass through the countries duty-free, up from 62.5%.

NAFTA tore down most trade barriers between the United States, Canada and Mexico, leading to a surge in trade among them. But President Perrin Beatty said the details of the text needed a closer look before a final verdict could be rendered. Critics included American labor unions and Ross Perot, a businessman and third-party presidential candidate, who warned of a "giant sucking sound" as employers would relocate jobs to low-wage Mexico.

In a joint statement, the two nations said the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would "result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region".

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