US, Canada reach trilateral trade pact with Mexico to replace NAFTA

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The U.S. and Canada reached an agreement on a new trade deal late Sunday after months of often testy back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The US and Canada reached a deal late Sunday on reforming the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to reports.

The US Congress is required go through a 60-day review of the draft agreement, which could potentially allow for NAFTA signing around December 1.

"We celebrate the trilateral agreement", Jesus Seade, who represented Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the talks, wrote on Twitter. In August previous year, he started a review of the trade pact with Mexico and Canada that opened up negotiations. The pact underpins some $1.2 trillion in annual trade.

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. The Trump administration struck a deal with Mexico last month to rewrite Nafta and had threatened to jettison Canada from the pact if it did not agree to concessions like opening its dairy market to USA farmers.

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"Everybody's negotiating in good faith right now as we speak". Canada could be exempted from the auto tariffs if it agrees to limits on its auto exports to the United States, Ujczo said.

The Trump administration officially notified Congress of the US-Mexico trade agreement on August 31.

The political stakes are high on both sides of the US-Canadian border: Trump needs to look strong heading into the November midterm elections, where his Republican Party is fighting to keep control of Congress, while Trudeau does not want to be seen as caving before next year's general election.

Canada's The Globe and Mail cited four sources as saying an outline of a deal had been reached but Trump and Trudeau still needed to approve it.

Canada and Mexico are the United States' two biggest export markets.

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Canada had agreed to provide USA dairy farmers access to about 3.5 per cent of its approximately $16 billion annual domestic dairy market, the sources said, adding that the Canadian government is prepared to offer compensation to dairy farmers hurt by the deal.

Under the terms of the new deal, the trade dispute mechanism Canada had sought to preserve will be maintained.

Auto tariffs would substantially hurt Canada, a major auto exporter. Trump wanted Canada to open its dairy market to United States farmers, and Canada wanted to preserve a mechanism for resolving disputes.

If Trump imposes so-called "Section 232" autos tariffs on national security grounds, Mexico and Canada would each get a tariff-free passenger vehicle quota of 2.6 million passenger vehicles exported to the United States annually, well above their current export levels. Canada also wanted to keep a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the U.S. wanted to jettison. 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. Companies and business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, have repeatedly called on Trump to ensure Canada remains part of the pact, which has become critical for industries across North America, including automakers, agriculture, and manufacturers.

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