US, Canada reach trilateral trade pact with Mexico to replace NAFTA

US, Canada reach trilateral trade pact with Mexico to replace NAFTA”

The prime minister, the foreign affairs minister, and Canada's ambassador to the US are leading the Canadian negotiations from Ottawa, as the USA and Mexican imposed deadline of September 30 at midnight closes in.

Those goals were achieved in the deal reached late Sunday, according to a Canadian official with knowledge of the negotiations.

The Canadian source said Canada had agreed to a cap on its automotive exports to the United States in the event that the Trump administration imposes global autos tariffs on national security grounds.

Daniel Ujczo, a trade attorney with the Dickinson Wright law firm who has followed the talks closely, said he expects the United States to get more access to the Canadian dairy market.

US and Canadian negotiators have been negotiating around the clock this weekend to make a deadline that would allow the countries to sign the deal as the final act before Mexico's outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office at the end of November.

Multiple sources told The Canadian Press the cabinet would meet around 10 Justin Trudeau's office across the street from Parliament Hill. The U.S. reached an agreement-in-principle with Mexico in late August and wants it approved before the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto leaves office November 30.

"Lots of progress but we're not there yet", he said.

In August, the United States and Mexico resolved an issue over auto manufacturing, but several sticking points with Canada remained.

It will take time to sort through the text of the deal, and to evaluate the details to assess the winners or losers, though tonight all three countries are celebrating the deal as a win-win-win. WTO-bound tariff rates would then apply.Under that scenario, Canadian exporters could face an additional U.S.$3.5-5 billion in customs duties, equivalent to the value of 1.25 to 1.8 per cent of current exports. It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Donald Trump had called a job-killing disaster.

Mexico agreed to remove NAFTA's Chapter 19, a dispute resolution mechanism for anti-dumping matters, which put Canada in a hard position.

"It's a good day for Canada", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office.

In addition to the changes to the dairy market in Canada, officials said it includes stronger protections for workers, tough environmental rules, and updates the trade relationship to cover the digital economy and provides "groundbreaking" intellectual property protections, the official told reporters.

Chapter 19 and the 232 tariffs had emerged in recent days as the two biggest challenges in front of negotiators.

Under the current system, US imports exceeding quota levels are subject to excessively high tariffs, such as 245 percent for cheese and 298 percent for butter. "The door closes on trade fragmentation in the region", Jesus Seade, trade negotiator for Mexico's incoming president, said via Twitter.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has hurt Mexicans, Americans, Canadians, Quebecers, and Indigenous peoples.

The flags of Canada, Mexico and the United States are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018.

The U.S. and Canada have been hung up on some core issues. Talks to revamp NAFTA began in August past year.

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