U.S., Canada reach trade deal as deadline loomed

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The U.S. and Canadian governments agreed to a trade deal last night just hours before a U.S.-imposed deadline. The deal, which replaces NAFTA, will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

It’s unclear whether the new agreement will eliminate the Trump Administration’s Section 232 tariffs on imported Canadian steel and aluminum. The U.S. tariffs prompted Canada to levy retaliatory tariffs of 10 percent on U.S.-built boats. Those tariffs have damaged both U.S. builders that export boats to Canada and Canadian dealers who represent them.

“It’s clearly a positive thing to have the new agreement, but we don’t know yet if the final deal removes the retaliatory tariffs,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “The administration’s earlier deal with Mexico did not remove the 232 tariffs, so we need to wait for more details. We’re hoping this is the beginning of the removal of the tariffs with our biggest trading partner.”

The two governments agreed that U.S. farmers would have greater access to Canada’s dairy market, and the agreement also addresses concerns about potential U.S. auto tariffs.

"It will strengthen the middle class and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly a half-billion people who call North America home," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a joint statement.

The Trump administration plans to send the deal to Congress, starting a 60-day review period before the president can sign it. Congress can suggest changes during that time.

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