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Canada, buoyed by trade deal, to push USA on metal tariffs

02 October 2018

On Sunday, it was announced that the parties had reached a new deal, which is now being referred to as the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement - or USMCA.

The agreement governs more than $1tn (£767bn) in trade and replaces Nafta, which was signed in 1994.

"It'll probably or possibly be just USM". Trump said he spoke to Trudeau by phone and told reporters that their recent tensions didn't affect the deal-making.

"We're concerned about the cross border shopping", says Richard Truscott with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. With a satisfied smile, the president said the new name had a "good ring to it", repeating U-S-M-C-A several times.

The terms reached between the US and Mexico on higher wage thresholds will also be positive for Canadian producers, said Unifor president Jerry Dias, who welcomed the deal. Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico tend to be more focused on consumer protections. Kushner played a similar role with Mexico - in that case, his close relationship was with Luis Videgeray, the Mexican foreign secretary, helped propel those talks to fruition.

Trump also refused to be pinned down on whether he intends to ease Section 232 tariffs on Canadian exports of steel and aluminum, saying at once that the tariffs remain in place, but they won't be necessary as long as Canada and Mexico honour the terms of the new agreement.

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Tariffs on imported steel have hit the construction industry nationwide but the newly-minted trade deal between the US and Canada may not provide the needed relief, at least not immediately.

Jean Simard, who speaks for three large aluminum producers in Canada - Alcoa Canada Ltd., Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. and Aluminerie Alouette Inc. - said industry representatives will be working alongside their USA counterparts to demand exemptions from the tariffs.

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

"In short, we think this is a fantastic agreement for the USA, but also for Canada and Mexico", said the American officials, who cheered the fact that USA dairy ranchers would soon have "substantial" expanded access to lucrative markets north of the border.

The new agreement does not resolve the 25 percent tariff on Canadian steel imports that Trump imposed earlier this year.

"I think Justin is a good person who is doing a good job".

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However, the new agreement has B.C. agreeing to scrap the restrictions that prevent US wines from also showing up on grocery-store shelves.

So much American trade depends on the 1994 deal that US financial markets were jittery about a possible collapse of negotiations - and because Mr. Trump made campaign promises to get rid of NAFTA.

Trump's aggressive tearing up of long-standing USA trade deals - with everyone from its two huge neighbors to China and the European Union - has rattled world leaders and sparked fears of economic turmoil.

In addition, the two countries agreed to shield Canada from automobile tariffs imposed by the U.S.

But in a buoyant performance at his Rose Garden news conference, Trump said the approach of using harsh tariffs to force countries into renegotiating unfair deals had been vindicated.

The new deal covered trade between the three countries worth $1.2bn and was "truly historic", he said.

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But Canada also had to agree to offer more access to its highly protected dairy market, which infuriated the influential farming lobby. "I am pleased that the Trump administration was able to strike a deal to modernize NAFTA with both Mexico and Canada", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Additionally, exclusivity for biologic drugs before generics can be produced will be increased to 10 years in Canada from eight years, a win for the pharma industry.

Canada, buoyed by trade deal, to push USA on metal tariffs