USA and Canada reach last-minute deal to preserve NAFTA

USA and Canada reach last-minute deal to preserve NAFTA

USA and Canada reach last-minute deal to preserve NAFTA

"We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood".

"The deadline is midnight tonight to get text into Congress to make sure this goes forward". But some experts questioned whether the changes to NAFTA were worth the strain put on relations with Canada by Trump's threats and brinkmanship during the negotiations. "It's a great win for the president and a validation of his strategy in the area of global trade", said one senior US official.

Ahead of the weekend's talks, several lawmakers had warned that they would not support a deal without Canada.

The agreement includes a quota on automobile shipments to the US and a greater level of access to Canada's dairy market.

As part of any agreement, Canada looks set to offer increased access to its highly protected dairy market, as it did in separate pacts with the European Union and Pacific nations.

"The ideal is a trilateral deal, but we're prepared for the possible need of a bilateral", he told Bloomberg News.

They made a joint statement late Sunday night, in which they have named it USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement). There were reports Sunday evening that the USA was prepared to concede on this point.

Flags of the US, Canada and Mexico fly next to each other in Detroit, Michigan, US. "So it's either going to be the text goes in with Mexico and the US, or the text goes in with all three countries".

President Donald Trump long promised to renegotiate or rip up NAFTA. This rule will provide a level playing field for American producers and workers, stated the USTR. That was one of the sticking points for both Canada and Mexico.

The new deal reportedly also includes new elements on digital trade and intellectual property. Vehicles, machinery, and agricultural products make up much of the goods traded.

Ujczo said the two sides have also largely settled on a dispute-resolution mechanism similar to that in the original NAFTA known as Chapter 19 - an issue that has always been a major stumbling block in the talks - and on a higher duty-free threshold for goods shipped into Canada: $100, up from $20.

Let us also remember that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has backed the controversial Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the deal that handcuffs public interest legislation affecting the future profits of corporations. They said this reinforces that this is not just words on paper.

Anti-dumping duties are protectionist tariffs that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports if they are priced lower than fair value. The preservation of Chapter 19 was a big goal of the Canadian negotiators.

Without Canada's signature, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said he would present a bilateral U.S. -Mexico agreement to Congress and keep talking to Canada.

Under the agreement, tariffs on almost all products were eliminated progressively by January 2008.

Among the tough issues that needed to be hashed out between Ottawa and Washington were access to Canada's dairy sector, tariffs and a dispute resolution mechanism that the U.S. wanted to scrap.

"There's just a lot going on, and not a lot of time to do it in....at the end of the day, USA negotiators are agreeing, but it still has to be the president that signs off, and who knows where he is on things".

One of the officials - both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly - said the discussions between Canada and the United States were ongoing, but that progress was being made.

The agreement also exempts tariffs on 2.6 million cars.

There are some other barriers as well, including restrictions on USA grain exports. Total U.S. trade with the two countries past year topped $1.1 trillion.

The deal represents a win for Trump, who has derided Nafta for years and threatened to pull the United States from the pact if it was not rewritten in America's favor.

Negotiators from the three countries began talks about updating NAFTA more than a year ago.

Canada's The Globe and Mail cited four sources as saying an outline of a deal had been reached but Trump and Trudeau still needed to approve it.

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