Trump on new trade deal with Canada, Mexico

Muskoka MP Tony Clement

Muskoka MP Tony Clement

Canada, the United States' No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the USA and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Hours before the midnight deadline, the two countries agreed to a renewed trilateral agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, which is now dubbed "USMCA" - the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

"We have put it on the table that we can not get to the signing without getting to a solution, because it would be illogical for there to be a tariff attack that went unresolved", Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on a morning TV news show.

Trump said he spoke to both leaders on Monday.

The USMCA is still built on the framework of NAFTA, free agriculture trade flowing through North America.

THE FACTS: North America already is a manufacturing powerhouse.

Done. Well, almost. Once it is officially ratified the USMCA will replace NAFTA as the trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

A source told Reuters that Mr Trump had approved the deal. "Versus a very unpredictable and protectionist US administration, I think Canada did as well as it could". "There are really no poison pills in here for Democrats".

After Trump's news conference, "the only difference was that instead of seeing the glass half-full, I was seeing it half-empty", MacNaughton chuckled in an interview.

That "representative" was Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland - the senior cabinet minister leading Canada's trade delegation to rescue NAFTA from a president who won the White House in part by denouncing the agreement as one of the worst deals ever made.

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In trade negotiations, a big win usually requires some kind of concession and it appears that U.S. President Donald Trump was willing to back down on the dispute process in exchange for a little more access to Canada's dairy market. Canada avoided auto tariffs and maintained access to the all-important American market.

Canada is also reported to have secured some protections for automobile industry against potential United States tariffs. "Just for those babies out there that talk about tariffs". "Second, the pricing system allowed for Canada to be competitive to export their excess skim milk powder, taking away market share from the U.S". Canada also kept a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

The deal ends a major source of trade irritation as the Trump administration pivots to a much bigger fight with China, where USA tariffs now are active on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatened on US$267 billion more.

But there is a widely shared belief that Canada made concessions and the US did not.

Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland pointed to several provisions in the new accord they say were positive for Canada, most notably the preservation of the so-called Chapter 19 dispute resolution panel in NAFTA that the US had demanded be scrapped.

Jerry Dias, president of Canada's largest private-sector union, Unifor, said he was thrilled the auto tariff threat has been lifted. Voters in Quebec, home to 354,000 dairy cows - the most of any province - head to the polls for provincial elections Monday, which cast a shadow over the last-minute negotiations.

In a September 30 statement, the National Association of Manufacturers essentially breathed a sigh of relief.

US business interests reacted with dismay in August when the administration announced a new trade agreement with Mexico that did not include Canada.

"This administration is committed to strong and effective enforcement of this agreement", a senior USA official told reporters.

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