Friday, 22 February, 2019

Freeland vows Canada's dairy farmers to get 'full compensation'

Nellie Chapman | 04 October, 2018, 00:00

Good morning: The United States and Canada have reached a last-gasp deal to replace Nafta, the North American free trade agreement.

Although the new agreement may not be "the biggest trade deal in the United States' history", as Mr. Trump claims, its importance can't be underestimated: Trade among Canada, Mexico and the USA touches jobs and company profits in all three places.

Trump acted as if NAFTA was a deal he didn't need, and that got the attention of Mexico and Canada.

The breakthrough came on Sunday evening as the negotiating parties agreed on key elements of the revised trade agreement, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing a senior source with direct knowledge of the talks.

Word of the deal came as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened a 10 p.m.

Earlier in the day, MacNaughton indicated to reporters waiting outside the PM's office that a deal was around the corner.

The official also says it exempts tariffs on 2.6 million cars and on diary it preserves supply management in Canada and agrees to give similar market access like the Trans Pacific Partnership that Trump scrapped.

Bhala said the proposed new deal made a number of significant changes and updates to the original NAFTA, including stronger protections for workers' rights to organize, stricter environmental requirements and more protections for women and LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination in the three countries. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Canada also agreed to give USA businesses greater access to its dairy market and consumers, to the tune of 3.59 percent-which is higher than the 3.25 percent it conceded to the countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Despite the tirades against imbalances in imports, the tweets threatening to pull out of global pacts, and undiplomatic statements about foreign negotiators, President Trump is starting to put together a string of deals that tell where his administration is headed on foreign trade.

Trump's advisers view the trade pact as a political victor in Midwest battleground states critical to the president's 2016 victory and home to tens of thousands of auto workers and manufacturers who could benefit from the changes. The threat of auto tariffs has clouded trade talks with several countries, including Japan and South Korea, which import cars and vehicle parts into the US.

Of course, the new trade deal still has to get through Congress.

The flags of Canada, Mexico and the USA are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City on March 5. If you can't cut a trade deal with them, with whom can you do so?

The United States and China are locked in a spiraling trade war that has seen them level increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other's imports. "That's really the takeaway from Korea [a South Korea deal in March], the takeaway from Mexico and Canada, and also the takeaway from the EU [European Union] and Japan, which are both works in progress".

"I then will submit it for approval to Congress where, in theory, there should be no trouble, but anything you submit to Congress is trouble", Trump said.

Mr. Wolfe of Queen's University said the wording of the clause, which specifically refers to a "free-trade agreement", may have been intentionally crafted to leave the door open for more modest trade pacts with China that don't amount to a full-fledged free-trade deal. "On the surface, this isn't something that's going to cause a massive shift, in our opinion, to the U.S".

"Maintaining duty-free access for fish and seafood in the North American market is good for Canadian producers and exporters and important for coastal communities", Lubczuk said in a response to CBC News.

That means that Canada will have to continue with its targeted retaliatory tariffs, which certainly won't bring the USA economy to its knees, but will impact those targeted local economies.

Canada and Mexico won't have to sweat it, though.

The USMCA contains updated rules meant to modernize free trade by adding provisions specifically pertaining to digital transactions and intellectual property. Washington has already reached a bilateral deal with Mexico, the third NAFTA member.