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United States and Canada reach trade deal

04 October 2018

In the United States, Congress must have the text of the deal by Sunday if a 60-day review period is to be respected.

The official says the agreement preserves a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

The Times reports that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a Cabinet meeting at 10 p.m.in Ottawa to discuss the details of the deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and Robert E. Lighthizer, the presidents top negotiator.

The deal is a reworking of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which underpins $1.2 trillion in trade between the three countries.

"It will transform North America back into a manufacturing powerhouse", he said.

Miscellaneous. The USMCA also contains what President Trump describes as a "host of new provisions to combat unfair trade practices in a number of areas", such as currency manipulation, state-owned enterprises and duty evasion. Farmers have seen their income plummet over the past five years, only to have farm prices further depressed by trade disruptions.

The main goal of the agreement for the United States is to have more auto and truck parts made in North America. The new deal was ushered in to help North American workers, especially in the automobile sector. This is about 12 percent higher than what was mandated under the original NAFTA.

Williams said one positive for dairy farmers with the new agreement is that it will open the Canadian market to more exported American dairy products.

Since talks began more than a year ago, it was clear that Canada and Mexico would have to make concessions in the face of Trump's threats to tear up NAFTA, and relief was palpable in both countries on Sunday that the deal was largely intact and had not fractured supply chains of weaker bilateral agreements. However, under USMCA, new quotas will be set which are expected to increase market access for U.S. farmers.

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

"It takes a cloud and lifts it off the Canadian economy", said Bruce Heyman, the former USA ambassador to Canada.

Bonnett says that's on top of other agreements already in place, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

However, the deal has failed to resolve USA tariffs on Canada's steel and aluminium exports. That is expected to be negotiated separately.

The deal also gives modernized protections to things like patents and intellectual properties.

That could mean more jobs, more auto production, more distribution from and through Northwest Ohio. However, Chapter 11 has been removed for the most part, due to critics arguing that it was being used by big companies to take advantage of tax payers' money.

United States and Canada reach trade deal