Ottawa: Canada and the United States on Sunday finally came on to the same page to reach an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal as the two countries were engaged in last-minute negotiations to keep the trade pact trilateral. With the two countries reaching a deal, the new treaty has been named as “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”
The American and Canadian governments gave their nod to the agreement that would allow US farmers to have greater access to Canada’s dairy market and resolve concerns about the proposed auto tariffs, CNN quoted officials as saying.
“It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home. We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a joint statement.
Negotiations over reworking the NAFTA began over a year ago, and there were heated debates from officials of three countries, in an effort to keep the trilateral deal intact.
US President Donald Trump was briefed on the nearly finalised negotiations by Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, earlier on Sunday. The US has been working to ink the new trade deal before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto steps down on December 1. Both Canada and Mexico are two of the biggest trading partners for the US.
Earlier on Friday, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo had said that it will be clear in the next 48 hours if Canada wished to remain a part in the updated NAFTA deal between Mexico and the US.
In August, Trump had announced that he would be “terminating” the agreement and would rename the new treaty as the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement,” after the two countries had reached an understanding during their trade talks. He termed it a “win-win situation” for the Americans.
The original NAFTA deal was signed by Canada, Mexico and the US, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America, which came into force on January 1, 1994. Trump has been deriding the pact, claiming it was the “worst ever deal” ever signed and hurt the interests of the American manufacturers.