US, Canada NAFTA trade deal, seals trilateral pact with Mexico

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U.S. Congress declared midnight Sunday as the deadline for Canada to join the existing agreement between the U.S. and Mexico.

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.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday said everyone involved was working in good faith and reiterated the Sunday deadline.

The agreement includes a quota on automobile shipments to the US and a greater level of access to Canada's dairy market.

"It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the almost half billion people who call North America home", said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a joint statement. 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.

Trade officials for the three countries have been at it for more than a year.

"There's just a lot going on, and not a lot of time to do it in....at the end of the day, US negotiators are agreeing, but it still has to be the president that signs off, and who knows where he is on things".

Steel and aluminum tariffs were no resolved as a part of the agreement and are being addressed separately.

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

Trudeau departed shortly after 11 p.m., saying that it was "a good day for Canada" and he would have more to say on Monday.

Ottawa and Washington remain at odds over Canada´s managed dairy sector, and the dispute resolution provisions in NAFTA.

We have heard from both sides on this issue that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Political deadlines are often fuzzy but Canada and the U.S. appear to be working towards some major compromises and a NAFTA deal. The access level is reportedly identical to what Canada agreed to give up as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), out of which Trump pulled the U.S. early in his tenure.

Just before Labor Day, Trump sent a notice to Congress of his intention to sign a new trade pact exclusively with Mexico.

They had said a bilateral agreement would move forward without Canada, which had entered into tough negotiations with the United States in recent weeks.

In addition, the two countries agreed to shield Canada from automobile tariffs imposed by the U.S.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at U.N. headquarters during the General Assembly of the United Nations in Manhattan, Sept. 26, 2018.

The two nations signed a side letter allowing Washington to pursue tariffs on annual Mexican auto and SUV imports of over 2.4 million vehicles, a number that significantly exceeds last year's total.

Those goals were achieved in the deal reached late Sunday, according to a Canadian official with knowledge of the negotiations.

Reaching a deal would remove a key irritant in the trading relationship between the US and Canada, its top export market.

The deal is likely to boost global stock markets today, which have been dragged down by concerns about USA trade disputes with China, the European Union and others.

Canadian government officials and outside stakeholders from industry and labour groups who were consulted throughout a weekend of intense talks said negotiators had made "progress" Sunday on key points that had been in dispute.

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