Mexico-Canada Agreement to Replace NAFTA after Last-Minute Deal

NAFTA talks

A handful of major industries scored big wins in President Donald Trump's North American trade agreement - at times at the expense of ordinary consumers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

But he noted that the agreement would need to be ratified by Congress, a step that could be affected by the outcome of the fall elections as Democrats seek to regain majorities in the House and Senate.

The revamped deal has 34 chapters and governs more than $1tn in trade between the three countries.

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.

Trump said the tariffs would remain in place "until such time as we can do something that would be different, like quotas perhaps, so that our industry is protected. We were dragged into it and we dealt with it the best we could", said Jean Charest, a former Quebec premier. "This shows that all three countries recognise the importance of the trilateral trading arrangement that has been fostered and supported by NAFTA during the past 24 years", he said in a statement today (1 October).

"As someone who voted against NAFTA and opposed it for many years, I knew it needed fixing", Mr. Schumer wrote in a statement.

But, as Boot says, this is a pattern for the president. Trump had repeatedly called NAFTA a bad deal for the US.

In fact, the USA has always been a manufacturing powerhouse and by some projections - made before he took office - is expected to be No. 1 in 2020.

The new deal is called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Japan managed to halt the threat of USA auto tariffs by reluctantly agreeing last month to bilateral trade talks with the United States.

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The two conceded Canada had been forced to scale back a highly restrictive supply management system created to effectively shield Canadian dairy farmers from US competition, but said Ottawa was determined to "fully and fairly" compensate Canadian farmers for the loss of market share. But it would keep the former North American Free Trade Agreement dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison. Canada also kept a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

"It is a good night for Mexico, and for North America", Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray tweeted. But Trump and other critics said it encouraged manufacturers to move south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican wages. Ontario does $389 billion worth of trade with the U.S. We are the number one trading partner for 19 states, and number two for 9 others. Indeed, much of Trump's new North American pact comprises leftovers from the old NAFTA and the TPP, noted Daniel Ujczo, a trade attorney at the Dickinson Wright law firm.

Trump said last week he didn't like Canada's trade negotiator, in an apparent reference to Freeland. Many early reviews of the agreement have been encouraging, from groups ranging from the AFL-CIO and Americans For Farmers & Families to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

Trudeau repeatedly made the point that he had managed to preserve the protected domestic market, which some USA interest groups said should be scrapped.

"Trump treated it like a real estate deal when he was a shyster in Atlantic City", Bothwell said. "To me, it's the most important word in trade".

"The Aluminum Association is disappointed that the Section 232 aluminum tariffs were not addressed as a part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)", says Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the association.

The U.S. also pressured Canada and Mexico to raise the duty-free limit on imported goods.

Yesterday (30 September), the National Association of Manufacturers' president and CEO Jay Timmons released a statement applauding the new USMCA, adding it creates more opportunities for United States manufacturing workers, especially as the trade relationship with China has recently turned sour.

Jerry Dias, president of Canada's largest private-sector union, Unifor, said he was thrilled the auto tariff threat has been lifted. That started a 90-day clock that would let outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto sign the new pact before he leaves office December 1.

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