President Trump touts 'historic' USMCA

Arturo Kim
October 2, 2018

Canadian dairy farmers are disappointed by provisions in the new U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that President Donald Trump announced Monday as a replacement for the North American Trade Agreement.

Trump's tariffs, imposed under national security concerns via Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, have been met with retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and Canada, which will likely remain in place on select American industries such as agriculture, until the situation changes.

United States farmers will gain access to 3.5% of Canada's dairy market worth $16bn a year, while another requirement stipulates that 40% of components for vehicles produced in the USMCA area must be made in areas paying wages of $16 an hour.

He said the new deal was "much more reciprocal" than Nafta, which he described as "perhaps the worst trade deal ever made".

"We celebrate a trilateral deal". It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, of NAFTA, which President Donald Trump had called a job-killing disaster.

Juan Carlos Baker, Mexico's under secretary of foreign trade, is expected to present the details of the agreement to the Mexican senate, according to the Times.

Some Alberta agricultural producers say they're relieved the new Canada-U.S. -Mexico free trade agreement largely maintains the status quo.

The U.S. agreement with Ottawa will boost American access to Canada's dairy market - with some concessions on its heavily protected supply management system - while shielding the Canadians from possible U.S. auto tariffs.

Canada's automakers appear to be the big winners from a renegotiated trade pact between Canada, the USA and Mexico, while steel and aluminum makers and dairy producers have less to celebrate.

"On the farm we make investments to make improvements and expand our facilities in anticipation of market growth", Wiens said.

"Without tariffs, we wouldn't be talking about a deal", Trump said.

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Bothwell Cheese executive vice president Wally Smith says he is concerned about what increased market access will look like.

Dairy access: The US will be able to export the equivalent of 3.6% of Canada's dairy market, up from the existing level of about 1%.

Notably, the prime minister did not mention Trump in his opening remarks, saying only in answer to a direct question that the relationship with the president has been challenging during the course of tumultuous negotiations.

The threat of tariffs has brought India to the negotiating table and Trump said he's confident other countries, too.

Dairy Farmers of Canada issued a terse statement soon after the agreement was announced late Sunday, following 14 months of hard negotiations between the parties.

What began as a marathon in the summer of 2017 ended in a flat-out sprint as negotiators in Ottawa and Washington worked around the clock to put the finishing touches on language adding Canada to the deal reached over the summer between the USA and Mexico.

Trump had threatened to switch to bilateral trade deals with Mexico and Canada, but a last-ditch agreement on Sunday between Washington and Ottawa managed to keep a trilateral deal.

"That tells me that there's an agreement that works for all of us, and so, to me, that's what we wanted all along", Perez said. "To me, it's the most important word in trade".

Ottawa will now open its dairy market further to US producers, and - in return - Washington left unchanged the dispute settlement provisions.

Canada has also agreed to let US wine be sold in British Columbia grocery stores.

New rules are created to improve U.S. auto workers' competitiveness, with 40 percent of each vehicle required to have been made by people earning at least $16 an hour.

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