Published: Tue, October 02, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Alberta dairy farmer explains why he’s disappointed with NAFTA replacement

Alberta dairy farmer explains why he’s disappointed with NAFTA replacement

The US and Canada on Sunday sealed the deal on a new trade agreement that, along with an earlier US-Mexico agreement, opens to door to a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It replaces the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which had been called "perhaps the worst trade deal ever made" by US President Donald Trump.

USMCA 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.

Canada, along with Mexico, took a "do no harm" approach to the talks, and there were early indications the Trudeau government succeeded in preserving the status quo in key areas, even though it faced criticism for giving the US concessions on dairy.

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.

US President Donald Trump on October 1 threatened to impose new tariffs on additional $267 billion worth of imports from China and asserted that there will be no deal with Beijing unless it changes its unfair trade practices.

Federal cabinet ministers were summoned to a late September 30 meeting at the Prime Minister's Office near Parliament Hill, while the White House convened its own late-night trade briefing conference call just an hour before the midnight deadline.

"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.

Trump said India wanted to have a trade deal with the US and the negotiations are being carried out by the US Trade Representatives Robert Lighthizer.

The Canadian dollar jumped to a four-month high in response to the deal.

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The terms reached between the USA and Mexico on higher wage thresholds will also be positive for Canadian producers, said Unifor president Jerry Dias, who welcomed the deal. However, the USMCA clause does not rely on WTO definitions - the way it is worded, if the U.S., Canada or Mexico "determines" a country isn't a market economy, then for the purposes of the clause, it isn't.

"We celebrate a trilateral deal".

American negotiators say they got a major victory by forcing Canada to eliminate the pricing scheme for so-called "Class 7" dairy products.

He has adopted an "America First" policy and launched a trade war against China, as well as imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Mexico and Canada.

"A glass is easily broken, but hard to fix", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last week in NY, in reference to the current state of China-US relations.

Canada's government had faced strong opposition to elements of the revised pact from the country's dairy farmers. It's certain now that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates at its next meeting, a move that had been delayed, said David Baskin, the president of Baskin Wealth Management in Toronto. Trump plans to sign it by the end of November. But Baskin said that some, like him, think the situation was mishandled from the start, despite their relief on Monday. "It's a great win for the president and a validation of his strategy in the area of worldwide trade", said one senior US official.

Peter Clark, an Ottawa trade consultant, said the U.S.is trying to "control our negotiations with China" with an unusual provision that had not been discussed publicly until now.

"Enough discussion about NAFTA and what the Americans want and don't want", he said.

In 2012, Manila complained that Beijing had stopped buying bananas from the Philippines, following the maritime dispute over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, while past year, South Korea's decision to install the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system also elicited an economic response from China.

To counter China's unfair practices, he had announced on June 15 that the U.S. would impose tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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