Team Trudeau scores a (tentative) win with last-minute three-way trade deal


A historic new trade agreement with Canada represents a "new dawn for the American auto industry" that will transform the United States back into a "manufacturing powerhouse", President Donald Trump said Monday.

Canada, the United States' No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the USA and Mexico reached an agreement last month.

According to a joint statement between the nations, "USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region". Canada and Mexico rank first and second among export markets for US companies.

Canada was successful in keeping a special dispute-resolution process for trade issues. Kushner played a similar role with Mexico - in that case, his close relationship was with Luis Videgeray, the Mexican foreign secretary, helped propel those talks to fruition.

The Trump administration struck a deal with Mexico last month to rewrite Nafta and had threatened to jettison Canada from the pact if it did not agree to concessions like opening its dairy market to USA farmers.

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. "We ended up in a good place that we ultimately think is a good deal for all three countries".

But there are also some notable changes in the USMCA from the 25-year-old NAFTA, including increased dairy-market access, new auto rules, and a sunset clause.

He said the new deal treats American workers with "fairness and reciprocity", unlike NAFTA, which he again described as the worst deal ever agreed to by the United States.

USA president Donald Trumps says the agreement was "truly historic".

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the new agreement protects Canada's supply management systems. Canada also appears ready to accept assurances that steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump has imposed will be lifted, though it remains unclear whether the taxes would be replaced by quotas that limit metal imports. With a satisfied smile, the president said the new name had a "good ring to it", repeating U-S-M-C-A several times.

However, Mr Trump said it was too soon to talk to China, on which the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs this year, about a trade deal.

Access for other agricultural goods: Canada will give the U.S. more access to its chicken, turkey, and egg markets, and British Columbia will allow the sale of USA wines at its state-owned liquor stores.

President Trump has long threatened to pull the United States from NAFTA.

Both Freeland and Trudeau say it's important to remember that when the negotiations began over a year ago the US aim was to dismantle supply management entirely, and Canada did not let that happen.

However, the new agreement has B.C. agreeing to scrap the restrictions that prevent US wines from also showing up on grocery-store shelves.

"It will allow us to maintain the competitiveness of the Mexican manufacturing industry, which will keep its access to the world's largest market", Marcelo Ebrard told a press conference.

As expected, the deal calls for cars to have 75 per cent of their content originate in the USA and Mexico, up from the current 62.5 per cent, and for 40 per cent of a auto to come from workers whose pay averages more than $16 per hour.

He said his company's study also found that over the last few years, more Canadians are choosing to make online purchases from retailers shipping from within the country, while cross-border shopping has declined. Mexico agreed to provisions requiring at least 40 percent of a vehicle to be built in countries where auto workers earn at least $16 an hour to qualify for duty-free benefits.