US and Canada agree to free-trade deal reform as NAFTA survives the storm


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US and Canada agree to free-trade deal reform as NAFTA survives the storm

The United States and Canada agreed to a new trade deal to restructure the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) late on Sunday evening. The new trade pact – which also includes Mexico as a signatory, after Mexico and the US reached an agreement in August – will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The new trade pact is expected to the bolster free trade practices between the three North American nations. As per the new trade agreement, American dairy farmers and producers will now be able to access to about 3.5% of the Canadian dairy industry market.

Likewise, there has been a limit imposed on the number of automobiles exported by Canada to the US at around 2.6 million. However, no resolution was found on the duties which are currently levied on the American imports of steel and aluminium from its neighbour to the north.

Soon after the deal had been agreed upon, a joint statement was released by American and Canadian authorities. The BBC quoted the Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and the American trade representative Robert Lighthizer as, "Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement."

Following stiff resistance from the Canadian government, the American government had set a deadline of midnight on Sunday, 30th September for the pact to be agreed upon. The three countries are expected to sign this deal in November, post which it will be sent for approval to the American Congress.

This trade pact follows the American president Donald Trump's free-trade deal signed with South Korea a few weeks earlier, in New York. Meanwhile, speaking of NAFTA, the free-trade agreement which was signed in 1994 sees the movement of trade activities surpassing the $1 trillion mark.