NAFTA deal could be imminent

Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline

Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline

Senior Trump administration officials briefed reporters late Sunday night on the new deal, just one hour before the deadline set to send a U.S. -Mexico deal to Congress.

The prime minister, the foreign affairs minister, and Canada's ambassador to the USA are leading the Canadian negotiations from Ottawa, as the US and Mexican imposed deadline of September 30 at midnight closes in.

Canada's ambassador to Washington says the US and Canada have made a lot of progress in free trade talks but there is no deal.

Following the Cabinet meeting, Trudeau said it was "a good day for Canada", while Jesus Seade, the trade negotiator for Mexico's incoming president, tweeted that the deal meant "the door closes on trade fragmentation in the region".

Other final issues included US demands for greater access to Canada's dairy market and Canadian insistence on preserving a dispute settlement process that Washington wants to scrap.

Other compromises were reached on protecting Canada from possible auto tariffs, and raising the value of goods Canadians can order online from outside the country without paying duty, the source said. "The heavy lift is going to be getting a trade deal through the next Congress in 2019 as well as ratification by Mexico's new Congress and in Canada during a federal election year". He blames the treaty for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and has repeatedly threatened to abandon the trade past signed in 1994, during the Clinton administration.

Following years of threats from Trump and the promise of establishing a new deal more favorable to the US, the latest agreement appears to represent a win for the White House.

The key one concerns the dairy system in Canada.

The influential Dairy Farmers of Canada lobby group - which strongly opposes the idea - said in a statement that it insisted "any final NAFTA deal should have no further negative impact on the dairy sector". "It makes no sense to me to repeat that with a new NAFTA".

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Canada also wanted to keep a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the U.S. wanted to jettison.

The two neighbours had been working to hammer out a new deal before a Monday deadline.

Lawmakers from both parties have urged the White House to include Canada in any revised Nafta, warning that excluding Canada, which is America's largest export market, could disrupt supply chains, cost jobs, and slow the United States economy.

The Trump administration plans to send the new deal to Congress, starting a 60-day review period before Trump can sign it. Congress can suggest changes during that time. The president, long a NAFTA critic, complains that the original treaty cost the United States millions of factory jobs and led to persistent USA trade deficits with its southern neighbor.

The official also said it exempts tariffs on 2.6 million cars and on diary it preserves supply management in Canada, the AP reported.

More than two-thirds of Canadian exports go to the United States, equivalent to 20 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, while Canada is the largest export market for the United States.

Despite the fact that Ottawa had long pushed back hard against allowing the deal to be periodically revisited, officials in the US briefing said the new language includes a provision that will indeed see the deal reviewed every six years.

It will also be called the "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement", or USMCA.

Though, one of the senior US administration officials who briefed reporters on background Sunday night described Canada's concessions on dairy as "a big win" for American farmers.

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