Nafta: US and Canada 'reach new trade deal'

Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline

They made a joint statement late Sunday night, in which they have named it USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement).

OTTAWA-Canadian and US officials worked late into the evening Sunday in a drive to come up with a legal agreement that would allow Canada to join Mexico in a three-way free trade pact with the United States.

Senior Trump administration officials briefed reporters late Sunday night on the new deal, just one hour before the deadline set to send a U.S. -Mexico deal to Congress.

The deal reportedly grants USA farmers access to the heavily protected dairy market.

Earlier Sunday, one of Trump's senior trade advisers, Peter Navarro, told Fox News that Canada's positions on dairy sector regulations and on global dispute resolution remained among "several sticking points", but suggested that disagreements over digital intellectual property and certain pharmaceutical protections had been largely resolved. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the cabinet meeting inside his office across the street from Parliament Hill, where high-level staff and Freeland had been working over the weekend to secure a NAFTA deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at U.N. headquarters during the General Assembly of the United Nations in Manhattan, Sept. 26, 2018.

And this weekend, Unifor President Jerry Dias noted, "We have lived with a bad NAFTA deal for a quarter century". "We're going to call it the US-Mexico Trade Agreement".

"We celebrate the trilateral agreement", Jesus Seade, who represented Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the talks, wrote on Twitter.

Amidst a trade war and rising rhetoric from the White House, there have been some doubts about whether Canada would be able to reach an agreement with the U.S., adding to earlier threats from President Donald Trump that he would cancel NAFTA if a deal highly favourable to the United States is not be reached.

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Trump had said he wanted to go ahead with a revamped NAFTA - with or without Canada.

A revised Nafta that includes Canada has a far greater chance of being ratified by Congress but its fate is still somewhat uncertain.

Some lawmakers immediately expressed relief that Canada had been reinstated in the regional trading bloc.

Under US law, the White House is required to submit the text of the trade deal to Congress 60 days before signing - and officials barely made it by midnight. "NAFTA is a proven success".

So much American trade depends on the 1994 agreement that USA markets have been jittery about a possible collapse of negotiations - and because Mr. Trump made campaign promises to get rid of the agreement. But Trump and other critics said it encouraged manufacturers to move south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican wages, costing American jobs. Talks to revamp NAFTA began in August a year ago.

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

U.S. -Canada talks bogged down earlier this month, and most trade analysts expected the September 30 deadline to come and go without Canada being reinstated.

Canada also agreed to a quota of 2.6 million vehicles exported to the United States in the event that Trump imposes 25 per cent global autos tariffs on national security grounds, Canadian and U.S. auto industry sources said.

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