October 2, 2018
U.S. and Canadian negotiators negotiated around-the-clock over the past weekend, September 29-30, to make a Sunday deadline that would allow the countries to sign the deal as their final act before Mexico’s outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office at the end of November.
The new deal will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), according to a joint statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that was issued late Sunday night.
“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. 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,” the statement said.
According to a report by Reuters, Canada has agreed to provide U.S. dairy farmers access to about 3.5% of its $16 billion annual domestic dairy market. Although Canadian sources said its government was prepared to offer compensation, dairy farmers reacted angrily.
“This has happened, despite assurances that our government would not sign a bad deal for Canadians.”
The deal also requires a higher proportion of the parts in a car to be made in areas of North America, paying at least $16 an hour, a rule aimed at shifting jobs from Mexico.
The new deal will need the approval of Congress, and it is not likely to reach a floor vote until the next session of Congress in 2019. The top Democrat in the House was not endorsing the deal just yet.
“Democrats will closely scrutinize the text of the Trump Administration’s NAFTA proposal, and look forward to further analyses and conversations with stakeholders,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
With control of both the House and Senate at stake in November, it is unclear if Congress will support the deal, ABC News reported.
Research contact: @jendeben