US, Mexico, Canada agree on new free trade pact

It’s a good day for Canada,’’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Sunday

The three countries came to the final deal, which Trump called the "most modern, up-to-date and balanced trade agreement" in usa history, late on Sunday.

The US and Canada on Sunday sealed the deal on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the first major update of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

In a joint statement, United States and Canadian trade representatives said the agreement "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".

Likewise, he claimed that India - which he described as the "tariff king" - wants to start trade talks with the United States "immediately". Canada is by far the No. 1 destination for USA exports, and the US market accounts for 75 percent of what Canada sells overseas. In addition, Canada will get rid of the "Class 7" pricing system that was seen as disadvantaging United States farmers.

While New Delhi threatened tariff hikes on 29 American products worth $10.6 billion as early as August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government reportedly chose to postpone the retaliatory measures pending negotiations with USA officials, who are seeking to reduce its $31-billion deficit with India.

Meanwhile, Trump has also announced a new trade deal with neighbouring Mexico and Canada.

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during a meeting in the Oval Office in February.

Speaking at the White House, the President said the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) vindicated his threats over tariffs.

He said market access - Canada's supply management system rigidly controls foreign exports to the Canadian market - has suffered significant hits in a series of recent trade deals.

"We have always just focused on the reality that this is a good deal for everyone and we've always believed that we were going to get here", Freeland said.

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"We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood", according to the group.

The Canadian dollar jumped to a four-month high in response to the deal. "They didn't want to make a deal with anybody else", he had said.

Other contentious, so-called USA poison pills - which would have limited Canada and Mexico's ability to bid on lucrative US procurement projects - are gone. "We weren't at the table or maybe the deal would have been a little different".

Dairy access was a key US demand, made repeatedly by Trump, though the USA already exports about $500 million of milk products duty-free to Canada every year. (But) It's way too early for me. This is slightly above the 3.25% market access Canada would have given the U.S. as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump pulled the USA out of past year.

He is also still concerned about the remaining steel and aluminum tariffs.

On the flip side of Canada's more open dairy market, the country's own farmers may be negatively affected.

Negotiators worked frantically ahead of a midnight US -imposed deadline to settle differences, with both sides making concessions to seal the deal.

"This deadline was real", according to a senior USA official. But the agreement will now push Canada's current copyright terms, which stood at 50 years past the author's life, to 70 years so that it can fall in line with US protections.

Trudeau and Freeland were scheduled to speak to premiers at 11 a.m. Monday, followed by a press conference at noon.

A revised Nafta that includes Canada has a far greater chance of being ratified by Congress but its fate is still somewhat uncertain.

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