U.S., Mexico, Canada reach trade deal

Updated: Canada has joined a revamped North American free trade deal with the United States and Mexico.

U.S. Rep. Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement “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 new deal, reached just before a Sunday midnight deadline imposed by the U.S., will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Donald Trump called a job-killing disaster.

Tulsa Trump Supporters. Photo by David Arnett.

“It’s a good day for Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office. Trudeau said he would have more to say Monday.

“We celebrate a trilateral deal. The door closes on trade fragmentation in the region,” Jesus Seade, trade negotiator for Mexico’s incoming president, said via Twitter.

Click here for the report from the AP.

Update: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“The great news of a new USMCA deal is important for our economy as a whole, including the agricultural sector, which counts Canada and Mexico in our top three trading partners. I have long said that I believe our country is located in the best neighborhood on Earth – North America – with valuable allies to our north and south.

“We have secured greater access to these vital markets and will maintain and improve the highly productive integrated agricultural relationship we have as nations. Notably, as one of the President’s top goals, this deal eliminates Canada’s unfair ‘Class 7’ milk pricing scheme, cracks open additional access to U.S. dairy into Canada, and imposes new disciplines on Canada’s supply management system. The agreement also preserves and expands critical access for U.S. poultry and egg producers and addresses Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading process to help U.S. wheat growers along the border become more competitive.

“As we celebrate this breakthrough, it is worth noting that there were many detractors who said it couldn’t be done.  But this is further proof that President Trump’s trade negotiation strategy is working. A renewed USMCA, a new KORUS agreement, and the continued progress with Japan, can lead to further deals with other trading partners like the European Union and China. The dominoes are falling and it is good news for U.S. farmers. I thank President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer for their perseverance, leadership, and hard work.”

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