President Trump announces new trade deal with Mexico, Canada


Canada, the US' second largest trade partner, was excluded from a revamped NAFTA deal separately negotiated between Mexico and the USA in August after nearly a year of negotiations. Few ideas upset the Canadians and Mexicans more than that.

It's something economist Brett House at Scotiabank has been banging a drum about for more than a year, which is why he lamented the missed opportunity to lower the tax threshold even if Canada was bound to be forced to raise its duty free level.

The treaty also addressed e-commerce with new intellectual property protections, including decade-long patents for biologic drugs. Of course it means we can no longer export there as well.

Canada and the United States agreed that wheat imported from the other country would not be treated less favorably than similar domestic wheat. USA farmers have complained that their wheat automatically receives the lowest price under Canada's grading system.

Canada conceded to drop its complex "Class 7" quota and pricing system, which limited imports of certain dairy products from the US, as part of an agreement reached late Sunday.

Trump tweeted often about how unfair he thought it was that Canada charged such high tariffs on United States dairy products.

US farmers said those schedules had effectively pushed them out of the Canadian dairy market.

And he's cheering the fact it will give American farmers and dairy producers greater access to markets in Canada and Mexico, protect auto manufacturing jobs and encourage innovation on US soil.

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However, opposition was growing to a revised accord without Canada.

"This is a truly extraordinary agreement for the US, Canada and Mexico". In Canada, copyright generally extends for 50 years past death.

The deal will preserve a trade dispute settlement mechanism that Canada fought hard to maintain in order to protect its lumber industry and other sectors from USA anti-dumping tariffs. Over the years, Canada has successfully used Chapter 19 to challenge the United States on its softwood lumber restrictions. Under the old rules, $20 was the limit for both - meaning you could buy something from the US for up to $20 and not pay any sales tax at all on the purchase, something that gave USA retailers a clearly unfair advantage.

Judging by the initial reaction, a setback for freer trade on the continent will be judged a "win" for all involved: Trump gets his first "major" trade deal just in time for the midterm elections; Mexico's outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, will leave office with significant accomplishment of his own, and the president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will avoid beginning his term on December 1 with the headache of a trilateral trade negotiation; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be able to say that he successfully defended his country from an economic calamity. One letter promises Canada will be exempt from any future US tariffs imposed on automobiles and auto parts as a matter of national security.

Pickup trucks built in both countries will be exempted entirely.

"Lots of progress but we're not there yet ... we still have a couple of tough issues, so we're doing our best", Canada's ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, told reporters outside the Ottawa building where Canadian officials are gathered.

A fourth Canadian source directly familiar with the negotiations said any suggestion Ottawa would accept a cap or quota on autos exports was inaccurate.

In the United States, Congress needed the text of the deal by the late-Sunday deadline if a 60-day review period is to be respected.