U.S. And Canada Agree On Historic New Trade Deal

Washington, D.C. – After more than a year of negotiating, trade representatives from the U.S. and Canada have reached an agreement that will bring Canada into a new trade deal with the United States and Mexico.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a joint statement Sunday night announcing a new trade deal between the two countries, which will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Today, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),” the statement read. The statement went on:

“USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

Key to the agreement was Canada providing U.S. farmers greater access to their dairy markets by raising quotas on the amount of US dairy that can come into the country and eliminating a pricing system that made it more difficult for US farmers to enter the market. Canada will continue to impose severe tariffs on any US dairy that exceeds the quota.

Canadian negotiators fought hard to preserve Chapter 19, an extrajudicial trade dispute system that allows NAFTA members to bring grievances against other members over allegedly unfair trade practices. The new deal will keep Chapter 19 in place just as it is under the current NAFTA.

According to senior Trump administration officials Sunday night, Chapter 11 — which allows investors to bring disputes against other NAFTA member governments — will be phased out with Canada. This was a key goal for the U.S. Canadian negotiators also received assurances no additional future tariffs would be imposed by the U.S. on Canadian auto industry exports.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be pleased with the deal and said, “It’s a good day for Canada” as he left a cabinet meeting on Sunday. As for President Trump, he has long promised to negotiate more fair trade deals for U.S. taxpayers. He frequently makes the case that other countries have been treating the U.S. unfairly for decades and blames U.S. leadership for allowing trade deficits and imbalances to grow.

As for U.S. trucking industry stakeholders, we expect reaction to be coming swiftly as more details about this new agreement come to light. Quite a few industry leaders have expressed reservations about negotiating a new NAFTA agreement at all fearing a new deal could disrupt their businesses into Mexico and Canada.

Video shared courtesy of globalnews.ca.

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