Trump hails 'historic' Canada, Mexico trade pact

Trump hails 'historic' Canada, Mexico trade pact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed the landmark agreement as a victory and U.S. President Donald Trump did a victory lap at the White House as industries across Canada took stock of the new era in continental trade.

Canada, Mexico, and the United States have officially reached a new trade agreement, which they are now calling the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Congress needs to approve the agreement, and it needs to be ratified in Mexico and Canada as well. "Versus a very unpredictable and protectionist US administration, I think Canada did as well as it could".

Tariffs on imported steel have hit the construction industry nationwide but the newly-minted trade deal between the USA and Canada may not provide the needed relief, at least not immediately.

"Anything you submit to Congress will be trouble", he said.

The new agreement is called the USMCA.

The $1.2 trillion trade agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump vowed to repeal during his presidential campaign. He plans to sign the deal by the end of November.

Trump said the deal will give United States farmers greater access to export wheat, poultry, eggs and dairy, while also turning North America into a "manufacturing powerhouse" and ensuring higher wages for auto workers.

However, he added, "Canada appears to have achieved most, if not all, of its important objectives in this lengthy and challenging set of negotiations". Even trade-war doves agree that Beijing doesn't play fair - but three presidents over 24 years did nothing to make it behave.

Canadian Dairy Farmers Not Pleased With NAFTA replacement
A side letter published along with the main text of the agreement exempts a percentage of eligible auto exports from tariffs. Under Trump, the US has complained to the World Trade Organization that China should not be considered a "market economy".

Chapter 19, which the USA had wanted eliminated and was a significant sticking point for Canada, remains in full.

We looked through the blueprint and reached out to experts to get a better sense of what it does. "This is a terrific deal for all of us", he said.

Most critical of the deal was the dairy industry, which railed against expanded US access to the domestic dairy market and the elimination of competitive dairy classes.

Canada's ambassador to Washington says the US and Canada have made a lot of progress in free trade talks but there is no deal. That means U.S. dairy farmers can likely send a lot more milk protein concentrate, skim milk powder and infant formula to Canada (and those products are relatively easy to transport and store). Although the new agreement has dispelled many concerns about the challenges of two-track negotiations with Mexico and with Canada, congressional approval for the USMCA is hardly a guarantee.

"It feels like every time there's a trade deal, we just keep getting whittled away at". But the agreement will now push Canada's current copyright terms, which stood at 50 years past the author's life, to 70 years so that it can fall in line with US protections.

Canada has also agreed to let US wine be sold in British Columbia grocery stores. Dairy Farmers objected to this, too, but the once-obscure dairy classification had become a lightning rod of discontent for Trump. The only thing wrong with Trudeau is that he "loves his people", Trump said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

The quota would allow for significant growth in tariff-free automotive exports from Canada above current production levels of about 2 million units, safeguarding Canadian plants. A similar agreement between Mexico and the US preserves duty-free access to the USA market for vehicles that comply with the agreement's rules of origin.

Early on Monday, a copy of the deal's 34 chapters was posted on the U.S. Trade Representative's website. One of the administration officials described the agreement as "a great win for the president and a validation of his strategy for worldwide trade".