MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Canada has agreed to be a part of the new deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was announced in late August by the United States and Mexico, media reported on Monday citing sources familiar with the negotiations.
Earlier in the day, Canadian CTV News broadcaster reported citing a high-ranking US source that Canada and the United States had managed to resolve disagreements on NAFTA. According to the report, a joint statement by US and Canadian negotiators would be issued within hours.
According to The Washington Post, diplomats from the three countries were engaged in intensive talks over the weekend and reached arrangements, which will preserve the three-country format of the original NAFTA "favored by business groups and congressional Republicans."
The new agreement is expected to be signed by the leaders of the three countries in 60 days, the publication said.
The announcement comes following an emergency cabinet meeting called by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two hours ahead of a midnight deadline for providing the text of a revised agreement to the US Congress. Should Canada have failed to provide the document, if would have been excluded from the pact.
The new agreement will reportedly boost US access to Canadian dairy market and protect Canada from possible US tariffs on cars, according to two Canadian sources cited by Reuters.
According to the sources, Canada had agreed to a cap on its automotive exports to the United States if the Trump administration imposes global car trade tariffs on national security grounds. The negotiatied quota would allow for some growth in tariff-free automotive exports from Canada above current production levels, the source said.
Besides, Canada would allow US increased access to its highly protected dairy market, in a similar fashion as it did with the EU and Pacific Nations, Reuters reports.
US President Donald Trump has been seeking to renegotiate the United States’ trade agreements with other countries, including the NAFTA deal, since his election campaign in 2016. The current NAFTA agreement has been in place since 1994. Trump has threatened to leave NAFTA if a better agreement is not negotiated by the United States, Mexico and Canada, that is more advantageous to US workers and farmers.
For over a year, Canada, Mexico and the United States have been engaged in talks to modernize their trade deal. In August, Trump said that the United States and Mexico had reached an agreement in their NAFTA talks.