Donald Trump says new trade deal is 'most important ever'

Marcus Newton
October 7, 2018

After a year of often heated talks, a new trade agreement has been reached between Canada, the USA and Mexico.

Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright, tells the Post, "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 federal election year".

Despite reaching a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada over the weekend to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Trump said at the White House on Monday the key USA trading partners would still not be exempted from US steel and aluminum tariffs.

US President Donald Trump sought to patch up any lingering bitterness with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, calling him a "good man" after they agreed on a new trade accord. This came about a month after news of an agreement with Mexico, and Trump's insistence that he would be OK with a bilateral agreement and slap large tariffs on Canadian auto imports if our neighbors to the north didn't want to get on board.

"Most of effects ... have already been absorbed in Southeast Asia", he said.

TRUMP: "As one primary aspect, it will transform North America back into a manufacturing powerhouse". But it still faces a lengthy path to congressional approval after serving for two decades as a political football for American manufacturing woes.

The pact is expected to be signed in 60 days by the three leaders, possibly at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in late November in Argentina.

Lobbyists for several industries said they hoped the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement would serve as a yardstick for future U.S. trade deals, including any involving China. The import taxes of 10-per-cent on aluminium and 25-per-cent on steel were first levied by Mr. Trump in June, and mirrored by Canada and other countries. "There are really no poison pills in here for Democrats".

"He's a professional, I'm a professional", Trump said.

"These measures will support many - hundreds of thousands - American jobs", Trump said in remarks at the White House.

"The most important gain from this agreement is retaining our access to the USA market and Canadians understand that", Freeland said.

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The Canadian dollar hit a four-month high against the US greenback, and investors raised bets for as many as four additional interest rate increases from the Bank of Canada by the end of 2019.

"What that side letter does is it gives us some comfort that in the, I believe, frankly, unlikely event that the USA were to impose 232 tariffs on cars and auto parts, we would have a huge part, actually well over our current level of trade with the USA, [that] would be guaranteed not to be exposed to those".

"For those babies out there who keep talking about tariffs", this deal would not have happened without tariffs, Trump told reporters during a almost 80-minute event in the White House Rose Garden. The U.S. wanted to get rid of it. Canada also kept a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison.

Canada's The Globe and Mail cited four sources as saying an outline of a deal had been reached but Trump and Trudeau still needed to approve it.

"This deadline was real", according to a senior USA official.

Rather, the new agreement is being widely described as a "NAFTA-minus": a regime not as free as NAFTA had been, particularly in the automotive sector, but still very much in the interests of all three countries - and definitely better than no deal.

Supporting a 21st Century economy through new protections for USA intellectual property, and ensuring opportunities for trade in US services.

Canada's government had faced strong opposition to elements of the revised pact from the country's dairy farmers.

In a September 30 statement, the National Association of Manufacturers essentially breathed a sigh of relief.

However, she says the amount and type of compensation will be worked out in coming months while Canada, the United States and Mexico all work to ratify the agreement reached late Sunday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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