Friday, 19 October, 2018

U.S. Dairy Farmers Score Gains in New Trade Deal

It’s a good day for Canada,’’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Sunday David L. Ryan Globe Staff File ‘‘It’s a good day for Canada,’’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Sunday
Lindsey Cook | 02 October, 2018, 12:36

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Trudeau says the revamped NAFTA deal - renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement - is successful in maintaining fairness and balance between Canada and the US, a trading partner 10 times its size.

U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap at the White House, cheering Sunday's last-minute free trade deal, pronouncing the death of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement - and playing down "tensions" with Justin Trudeau.

"Take India. You talk about free trade".

Farmers in the United States would also gain greater access to Canada's dairy market through the deal. Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico tend to be more focused on consumer protections.

Cabinet meeting in Ottawa to brief officials on the deal, as Jared Kushner, one of Trump's closest advisers, and Robert E. Lighthizer, the president's top trade negotiator, hashed out the final details.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told NBC during an interview in June that the steel and aluminum tariffs were "insulting and unacceptable".

U.S President Donald Trump praised the deal, saying in a tweet this morning that negotiators had crafted a "wonderful new trade deal with Canada", that "solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our farmers and manufacturers, reduce trade barriers to the USA and will bring all three great nations closer together".

Dave Taylor, chairman of board of B.C. Dairy Association, says there is a lot of frustration and anger the Canadian government did not heed the industry's wishes and he says his industry will lose an additional 3.6 per cent of the domestic market to the U.S. "We ended up in a good place that we ultimately think is a good deal for all three countries".

The deal did give an immediate boost to the Canadian economy after months of uncertainty, with the Canadian dollar rising to its highest level since early this year.

This all means Canadians will have more cheese and ice-cream options at the grocery store, but they won't necessarily be cheaper than local dairy products. "It's either going to be the text goes in with Mexico and the US, or the text goes in with all three countries".

"We got the right deal".

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Though, one of the senior USA administration officials who briefed reporters on background Sunday night described Canada's concessions on dairy as "a big win" for American farmers, which includes Canada eliminating what's known as the Class 7 milk pricing system.

On Monday, he said his government did not act earlier because Canada was in the midst of trade negotiations.

In another tweet, Mr. Trump said the new agreement "greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduce [s] Trade Barriers to the USA and will bring all three Great Nations closer together in competition with the rest of the world".

One surprise area where there has been no change is that United States tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminium will remain for now, even though this was seen as a key barrier to a deal.

Trump has always been critical of Canada's dairy regulations, tweeting in June that their tariffs are "not fair to our farmers".

Trudeau, standing next to Freeland, said he planned to continue to have a "constructive" relationship with the president. Companies and business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, have repeatedly called on Trump to ensure Canada remains part of the pact, which has become critical for industries across North America, including automakers, agriculture, and manufacturers.

Trump had made criticism of NAFTA a centerpiece of his successful 2016 election campaign, terming it the worst trade deal in history and blaming NAFTA for the loss of American manufacturing jobs since it went into effect in 1994.

Trudeau and Freeland were scheduled to speak to premiers at 11 a.m. Monday, followed by a press conference at noon.

Trump said he'd like to see it signed by the end of November. "If China is the real target, then the US would need to accelerate NAFTA discussions immediately and form a peace treaty with the [European Union] so that it could focus on China".

Dan Ujczo, an worldwide trade lawyer with US law firm Dickinson Wright, said the tariffs would only apply to vehicles which do not meet country-of-origin rules.

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