Canada, U.S., Mexico finalize trade agreement, sources confirm

01 October, 2018, 12:56 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Clock ticks down on potential Sunday NAFTA deadline

Word of an agreement followed an emergency cabinet meeting called by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 10:00 pm (0200 GMT) - two hours ahead of a Washington-imposed midnight deadline for getting the text of a revised agreement to the United States Congress.

Earlier Sunday, David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the United States, had said there was "lots of progress, but we're not there yet", before heading back to Washington from Ottawa.

When it looked like negotiations had stalled or broken down due to friction between the United States and Canadian sides, Mr Kushner kept talks going with aides close to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, including Mr Gerald Butts and Ms Katie Telford, three people said.

The deal is said to involve more United States access to Canada's dairy market and a cap on Canada's vehicle exports to the US.

The US and Canada reached a deal late Sunday on reforming the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to reports.

"They used to call it NAFTA", said Trump after a deal had been reached with Mexico.

In force since 1994, Nafta eliminated tariffs on most goods and governs more than US$1 trillion in trade on the continent.

Among other things, the negotiators battled over Canada's high dairy tariffs.

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

One of the toughest obstacles was Canada's demand for an exemption or other form of protection from the president's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, which may potentially be extended to automobiles from Canadian factories.

According to Navarro, the new NAFTA aims to "restore North America as a manufacturing powerhouse by reclaiming our supply chain from the rest of the globe".

The U.S. source said common ground had been reached on all the most hard issues.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is briefing Canada's top bankers to give them fair warning about the possible fallout from an intense period in U.S.

Chapter 19, the dispute resolution mechanism, will be kept.

We have heard from both sides on this issue that no deal is better than a bad deal.

The new NAFTA deal also came on the last day before a Trump-imposed deadline to reach an agreement.

One of the sources said Canada would take nothing for granted until Trump had signed off on the deal.

Under the current system, US imports exceeding quota levels are subject to excessively high tariffs, such as 245 percent for cheese and 298 percent for butter.

Under US law, the White House is required to submit the text of the trade deal to Congress 60 days before signing - and officials barely made it by midnight.

A Canadian official told The Associated Press that the agreement preserves a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

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

A little over a month after the USA and Mexico struck a preliminary agreement on NAFTA's replacement, the us and Canada did the same late Sunday, as hoped-the timing means outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto gets to sign the USMCA into law just before leaving office.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner have been updating Trump throughout Sunday on the talks, a U.S. source familiar with the discussions said.

U.S. farmers will have access to about 3.5% of Canada's dairy market, Reuters reported, citing sources.

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