Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Canada on track for Friday signing of USMCA once details finalized: Freeland

Canada on track for Friday signing of USMCA once details finalized: Freeland

Trump, standing in between his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, said the new deal was a model agreement that would stop auto jobs from going overseas, protect intellectual property rights and provide robust protections for digital trade and financial services.

The agreement sets rules governing dozens of industries.

'The Prime Minister and the President agreed that the new trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico would enhance North American competitiveness, ' his office said of the call. The agreement includes a new rule, for example, that a vehicle will only be freed from tariffs if 40 per cent or more of its contents are produced by workers earning $16 (U.S.) per hour or more.

The new agreement has received a mixed reaction from U.S. lawmakers.

"Uncertainty that would only have got worse if we had not reached a new NAFTA". The news ensured any meeting with Putin would have put a spotlight on the special counsel's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow during the campaign.

Many Democrats, emboldened by their victory in the midterm election earlier this month, say they want to the deal to protect American workers from low-wage Mexican competition.

The new trade deal, which will govern more than a trillion dollars of trade, came after more than a year of acrimonious negotiations.

US tariffs on steel and aluminum remain in place, but a Canadian official said an advantage to signing onto the agreement now is an auto side letter exempting Canada of potential tariffs on exports of up to 2.6 million vehicles - well above current levels. He struck a more optimistic note on Friday, saying, "It's been so well-reviewed, I don't expect to have very much of a problem".

Oil drops below $50 for first time in a year
The crown prince, under pressure after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, can't afford to alienate President Donald Trump. USA crude stockpiles rose last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group said on Tuesday.

Even after the agreement is signed, however, it will face another series of hurdles before taking effect.

"As is always the case ... with these agreements, there are always details to be finalized and we are very hard at work doing that", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters in Buenos Aires.

The USMCA (read the whole text here) replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had created a free trade zone between the three countries back in 1994.

It is possible substantive negotiations will resume at some point.

Relations between the us and Canada took repeated blows during the negotiation Trump initiated in August 2017, largely because of his public attacks on Trudeau.

"This has been a battle, and battles sometimes make great friendships", Trump said at the beginning of the signing ceremony. He added later: "We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there". Our great Country is extremely well represented.

Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is attending the G20 meeting.

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