Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

New NAFTA deal reached, according to multiple sources

Clock ticks down on potential Sunday NAFTA deadline Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline
| 01 October, 2018, 11:40

President Donald Trump long promised to renegotiate or rip up NAFTA.

US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly reached a deal on a revised North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) late Sunday evening, according to officials briefed on the negotiations.

Canadian and USA negotiators were racing against a midnight Sunday deadline (0400 GMT Monday) to reach a deal to revamp NAFTA, but thorny issues including Canada's dairy market and US tariffs were still unresolved, a Canadian official and other sources said. I think you will find the comparison doesn't flatter the deal struck with Trump and Mexico.

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, Mexico, March 5, 2018.

The rewrite "will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in..." "It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the almost half billion people who call North America home".

When it looked like negotiations had stalled or broken down due to friction between the USA and Canadian sides, Kushner kept talks going with aides close to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, including Gerald Butts and Katie Telford, three people said.

Despite the fact it's one of Trump's favourite talking points, the politically sensitive question of greater USA access to Canada's dairy market is also no longer a hurdle, say sources familiar with the talks.

Canada will open its dairy market further to United States producers, and Washington left unchanged the dispute settlement provisions which Ottawa demanded.

They suspected that Canada, which had said it wasn't bound by USA deadlines, was delaying the talks until after provincial elections Monday in Quebec, where support for Canadian dairy tariffs runs high.


"My thanks for your advice and support", Trudeau posted in a statement on Twitter, stating he'd spoken to David McKay, president and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada; Victor Dodig, CIBC president and CEO; Scotiabank president and CEO Brian Porter; BMO financial group CEO Darryl White and TD president and CEO Bharat Masrani. Canada also wanted to keep a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

The executives include two former Canadian ambassadors to the US who now work for banks: Michael Wilson, chairman of Barclays Capital Canada Inc., and TD chairman Frank McKenna. Steel and aluminum tariffs were no resolved as a part of the agreement and are being addressed separately.

In addition, Canada joined on to updated agreement made between the USA and Mexico on a six-year review period for NAFTA and updates on intellectual property treatment.

"In some countries, including Canada, a tax on cars would be the ruination of the country". The procedure was essentially a fast-track version of the World Trade Organization's dispute settlements but only applied to the three NAFTA members.

A source told Reuters that Mr Trump had approved the deal.

The new NAFTA deal also came on the last day before a Trump-imposed deadline to reach an agreement. It was unclear, however, whether Trump had authority from Congress to pursue a revamped NAFTA with only Mexico. 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.

Officials are talking continuously by telephone.

Negotiators worked frantically ahead of a midnight ET (0400 GMT) U.S. imposed deadline to settle differences, with both sides making concessions to seal the deal.

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