Canada Joins Free Trade Deal With US And Mexico

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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It’s out with NAFTA and in with USMCA — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. After weeks of dire predictions, Canada joined the bilateral deal forged between the United States and Mexico late Sunday night to make it a trilateral arrangement.

According to the Canadian Press, the United States will gain greater access to Canada’s protected dairy market and tariffs will not be placed on all cars exported from Canada.

President Donald Trump tweeted, “Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It is a great deal for all three countries … ”

The last-minute negotiations were conducted between Washington and Ottawa in an around-the-clock session.

“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,” said U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chyrstia Freeland and Lighthizer in a joint statement. “It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

The 11th-hour agreement came after a gloomy week for Canada that was marked by increasingly negative comments by Trump about Canada being included in the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement. Trump said he refused to meet with Trudeau while the two were both at the U.N. building in New York.

Trudeau reportedly asked Mexico for its assistance in convincing Trump that the U.S. should continue negotiating with Canada.

Trudeau called a late-night cabinet meeting Sunday in Ottawa to discuss the trade deal. On the way into the session, he told reporters, “It’s a good day for Canada.”

The United States has agreed to Trudeau’s insistence that the USMCA retain the dispute resolution mechanisms of the old NAFTA but was firm in its desire to review the deal every six years, CP reported.

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