U.S., Canada reportedly conclude new NAFTA deal

01 October, 2018, 12:55 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland

Privately, some Canadian executives have expressed concerns to the Prime Minister's Office that Canada is spending political capital by tabling issues in trade talks that seem unlikely to resonate with U.S. President Donald Trump, such as gender, workers' rights and climate change, said three sources in business and government who were not authorized to speak about the discussions.

Canada had insisted on formal protection from the national security tariffs the Trump administration had threatened to impose on imported steel and aluminum. that could be extended to Canadian-made automobiles.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a meeting with his Cabinet late Sunday after Canada and the USA made substantial progress in free trade talks.

There was also an agreement to protect 2.6 million exports a year of Canadian vehicles to the United States from possible USA tariffs of 25% that Mr Trump may impose.

Amidst a trade war and rising rhetoric from the White House, there have been some doubts about whether Canada would be able to reach an agreement with the United States, adding to earlier threats from President Donald Trump that he would cancel NAFTA if a deal highly favourable to the USA is not be reached.

The quota would allow for significant growth in tariff-free automotive exports from Canada above current production levels of about 2 million units, safeguarding Canadian plants.

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".

A fourth Canadian source directly familiar with the negotiations said any suggestion Ottawa would accept a cap or quota on autos exports was completely inaccurate.

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Under U.S. trade law, the administration was required to publish the text by the end of September.

Canada also wanted to keep a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the United States wanted to jettison. Trade officials on both sides rushed to hammer out differences before a Sunday midnight deadline. Mexico wants a deal signed before December 1, when the new Mexican administration takes over and the Trump administration wants the current, Republican-controlled Congress to vote on the deal quickly, given a potential change in control after the November midterm elections. "Lots of progress but we're not there yet", MacNaughton told reporters in Ottawa, where the Canadian team is gathered.

Canada will open its dairy market further to United States producers, and Washington left unchanged the dispute settlement provisions which Ottawa demanded.

The agreement preserved a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison, the official told The Associated Press ahead of an official announcement.

The two nations signed a side letter allowing Washington to pursue tariffs on annual Mexican auto and SUV imports of over 2.4 million vehicles, a number that significantly exceeds last year's total.

The importance of a new U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade deal can not be underestimated: trade between the three partners affects jobs and profits in all three countries and all three wanted to get a deal done before the change of government in Mexico in two months, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports. The U.S. and Mexico had already reached a deal.

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. Earlier this summer Lighthizer, the USA trade representative, took a different tack by negotiating separately with Mexico and ultimately forging a bilateral agreement, putting pressure on Ottawa to join or face the possibility of being left out.

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