Canadian dairy farmers' group pans new trade pact with U.S., Mexico

Howard TerryOct 02, 2018

The new agreement is meant to modernize NAFTA, which is a 24-year-old agreement, and is meant to "support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America".

The president last week said he would no longer use the NAFTA name, instead christening the new deal "the U.S. -Mexico-Canada agreement", or USMCA.

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump harshly criticized free trade deals, threatening to withdraw the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he called "the worst trade deal". On top of the substantive issues, Trump went out of his way to criticize the Canadian negotiating team in the final days of deliberations, which Trudeau can play up as a sign of just how hard his staff fought on this deal.

Trump said he spoke to both leaders on Monday.

The main goal of the agreement for the United States is to have more auto and truck parts made in North America.

The president also predicted that his trade war with China would result in a good deal, and promised to continue renegotiating deals with trading partners like India and Japan. While TPA gives Trump the ability to send a deal to Congress for a simple majority vote, it also includes a statutory 60-day notification period. But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts imported into the United States.

US President Donald Trump is claiming a win over an eleventh hour trade deal with Canada which he has labeled the "most important trade deal we've made". On dairy, Canada is mainly giving US farmers more ability to sell milk protein concentrate, skim milk powder and infant formula. It was not created to be a Republican-only agreement.

U.S. president Donald Trumps says the agreement was "truly historic".

Animated by seventeenth century mercantilist ideas about trade deficits, all Trump seems to know for sure is that the deficits in merchandise trade are always and automatically bad, and that all existing trade agreements, particularly multilateral agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), that produce such deficits are therefore likewise always bad.

"In short, we think this is a fantastic agreement for the USA, but also for Canada and Mexico", said the American officials, who cheered the fact that USA dairy ranchers would soon have "substantial" expanded access to lucrative markets north of the border.

The 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs were implemented in March.

Another element of the deal will exempt Mexican and Canadian cars from any future U.S. automotive tariffs up to certain import quotas.

Canada is back in a revamped North American free trade deal with the United States and Mexico after weeks of bitter, high-pressure negotiations that brushed up against a midnight deadline.

Two senior government officials confirmed the meeting.

In a big victory for Canada, NAFTA's Chapter 19 dispute resolution system, which involves anti-dumping and countervailing decisions, will remain intact. Sure, those really close to the border still can get their packages sent to US forwarding addresses and depot services (like those close to Point Roberts, WA, for example). "We ended up in a good place that we ultimately think is a good deal for all three countries".

Trump also called out India for charging high tariffs on US exports, specifically Harley-Davidson products. They suspected that Canada, which had said it wasn't bound by US deadlines, was delaying the talks until after provincial elections Monday in Quebec, where support for Canadian dairy tariffs runs high. The issue has also figured prominently in Quebec, where voters go to the polls in a provincial election on Monday.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in the United States declared itself "extremely encouraged" by initial details of the new three-way pact.

"Today we are securing a higher standard of living far into the future for the people of Canada", Trudeau said during a news conference Monday in Ottawa.

Insiders got wind of a breakthrough after 14 months of tumultuous talks and just hours before USA and Mexican trade authorities were set to publish their own trade agreement without Canada as a signatory. "This is not going to just be words on paper".

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