Trump hails Canada, Mexico trade pact

Daniel Fowler
October 5, 2018

"That's something that really worries me", Mr. Moreau said in an interview on CNBC.

"It's either going to be the text goes in with Mexico and the USA or the text goes in with all three countries", he told the Fox News Channel.

"It's a good day for Canada", the country's prime minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office. He said the deal needed to be fair since one trading partner was 10 times larger.

The deal will preserve a trade dispute mechanism that Canada fought hard to maintain, to protect its lumber industry and other sectors from United States anti-dumping tariffs.

"Many Canadians were anxious we wouldn't get a deal, but today, numerous same Canadians are anxious about what we have given up to get this deal".

Noting that the agreement must still be ratified by the three countries, Trudeau said the tentative deal means economic stability for the continent.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner planned to brief Trump on Sunday on the talks, said a U.S. source familiar with the discussions.

But auto industry officials privately said job gains would be more limited, partly because tighter autos content rules would raise their costs even as the deal eases worries that they would have to tear up supply chains and move existing assembly plants.

Trump campaigned on a promise to rewrite NAFTA or get rid of it. Talks on a rewrite began more than a year ago.

The president said he was having a "successful negotiation" with the EU. "However, any final agreement must be judged on how it benefits and protects middle class families and the working people in our country".

"The current Section 232 tariffs are hurting USA aluminum companies, making them less competitive on the world stage", Brock says.

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 revamped NAFTA deal - dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA - was nearly 14 months in the making and has 32 chapters, 11 annexes and 12 side letters. Canada is also eliminating a recent pricing assessment for certain types of milk products that was a lightning rod of discontent for Trump.

NAFTA has always been a lightning rod for criticism among labor unions and manufacturing workers since it was being negotiated in the early 1990s during President George H.W. Bush's administration and later implemented by President Bill Clinton.

One solution might be to imitate the provisions of the bilateral Mexico-U.S. deal on NAFTA.

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The pact, now called the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, will give American farmers greater access to Canada's dairy market and require automakers to make more of their vehicle's parts in North America (if they don't want to pay tariffs).

The agreement also potentially restricts Canada and Mexico from reaching a free trade agreement with China and other "non-market" countries. Canada also kept a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

Other key aspects include lengthening the patents on biologic pharmaceuticals by two years to 10 years from eight, and increasing the amount Canadians can spend online at US retailers without paying duty to $150 from $20.

In typically bombastic language, the president used a press conference outside the White House to say the agreement was "truly historic news for our nation, and the world".

Trump said last week he didn't like Canada's trade negotiator, in an apparent reference to Freeland.

And it just might have been the catalyst for the new U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The agreement provides extra protection to drug companies in the much larger US market, as well.

Earlier Sunday, David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the United States, had said there was "lots of progress, but we're not there yet", before heading back to Washington from Ottawa.

"We're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada".

NAFTA was first enacted in 1994 as a way to govern more than $1.2 trillion worth of trade among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

In regard to Beijing, Kantor said, "I don't think we can use the same hammer". 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. Uncertainty over the fate of NAFTA talks had threatened to batter Mexico's currency and economic outlook.

Speaking at a political rally in Wheeling, West Virginia on Saturday night, Trump told supporters: "We'll see what happens with Canada, if they come along".

"The bar for supporting a new NAFTA will be high".

"We had to make compromises, and some were more hard than others", Trudeau said at a news conference.

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