President Trump touts 'historic' USMCA

Wednesday, 03 Oct, 2018

He also said that Mexico and Canada have agreed to labour, intellectual property and environmental provisions in the new agreement. The steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the US government as a "national security" measure earlier this year are still in place, and the text of the new NAFTA agreement doesn't remove them. "That gives us confidence a side deal on Canadian steel and aluminum can also be reached before the new NAFTA is ratified".

A new era in North American free trade dawned in the dead of night Sunday as a 14-month NAFTA modernization effort between Canada, the us and Mexico finally came to fruition with just hours to spare before an end-of-weekend deadline.

The new agreement, which still needs approval from Congress, is meant to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which President Donald Trump had threatened to withdraw from if the other two countries didn't renegotiate its terms. On October 1, Trump tweeted "The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement".

The new trilateral free-trade deal announced on September 30 is allowing North American trucking operations to breathe easy again.

"In terms of dairy, wine, the de minimis threshold - I mean, it was all in the right direction in terms of easier access to goods and services overseas, lower prices and greater variety for the Canadian consumer", said Christine McDaniel, a senior research fellow at George Mason University.

Unifor president Jerry Dias praised the announced framework, saying it would protect Canada's autoworkers from the kind of national-security tariffs that have harmed steel and aluminum, and pointing to language that strengthens "country of origin" rules.

The final process involves Congress considering the deal and, if passed, implementing it.

On Sept. 30, the U.S., Canada and Mexico reached a deal to scrap NAFTA and replace it with a new trade accord, narrowly meeting a self-imposed deadline for consensus. He said more USA eggs on the shelves is not what consumers want, pointing to the group's research that shows 90 per cent of Canadians prefer domestically grown eggs.

That has spilled over into other areas of diplomacy: A meeting between Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart, General Wei Fenghe, to discuss security issues has been cancelled, a United States defence official said Monday.

Pointing to his combative attitude towards China - with which the United States is engaged in an escalating trade war - Trump said his strategy was bearing fruit and that "China wants to talk very badly". In exchange, both Mexico and Canada get to avoid American tariffs on automobiles for sixteen years . "Japan is wanting to negotiate".

In addition, 75 percent of auto parts now need to come from one of the three countries to stay duty-free, according to the agreement. For instance, the big win for the USA is that Canada has slightly opened its market to United States dairy farmers.

Insiders got wind of a breakthrough after 14 months of tumultuous talks and just hours before US and Mexican trade authorities were set to publish their own trade agreement without Canada as a signatory.

What is more good news is that the agreement appears to be a revision, not a rejection of the widely praised treaty that's been in effect since January 1, 1994.

"This a victory for Canada because that amount is actually well above what we now send south of the border". That's a victory for USA dairy farmers, but could provoke some political turmoil for the Canadian government. This could pose a problem because the vote on NAFTA 2.0 will not happen until 2019 after the 2018 midterms and a potentially Democratic-and anti-Trump-Congress is seated.

After the heads of state from the three participating nations sign USMCA, it will go to the U.S. Congress for a vote early next year. "No matter what. If it's the single greatest agreement ever signed, they'll say, 'Well, you know, Trump likes it, therefore we're not going to approve it because that would be good for the Republicans".