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US, Mexico reach NAFTA deal as attention turns to Canada
28 August 2018, 12:32 | Vera Richards
Mandel NGAN /AFP Getty Images President Donald Trump
The United States and Mexico also agreed to a 16-year lifespan for the North American Free Trade agreement, with a review every six years that can extend the pact for 16 years, U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer said.
Canada's role: While the deal is just between the US and Mexico, the hope is that Canada will "negotiate fairly" to join the agreement at a later date, enter into a separate deal, or face automobile tariffs.
But after a year of intense negotiations to salvage the 25-year-old pact, the United States and Mexico appear close to a point where Canada - which had been waiting for US-Mexican agreement on auto industry rules - can rejoin the talks.
"It's a big day for trade, it's a big day for our country", Trump said with reporters present, who were called to the Oval Office to watch as Trump spoke on the telephone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The U.S. president also had words for Canada, which was not involved in the weekend talks between the U.S. and Mexico.
USA stock indexes hit fresh records Monday as the U.S. and Mexico struck a tentative a bilateral trade deal that's expected to replace the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement. But as with many of Trump's declarations of victory, it's far from clear that this deal will be realized.
The president says he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Canada would continue to negotiate, but would only sign a new agreement that is good for the country, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
USA automakers have opposed raising the North American content requirement, but the United Auto Workers union has supported it.
Other contentious issues between Canada and the United States include dispute resolution, intellectual property and a US demand for a five-year sunset clause.
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"While any news of progress on restoring Nafta certainty is reassuring for American farmers, there are questions that remain on the nature of a final deal", Brian Kuehl, the organisation's executive director, said in a statement.
US Mexico NAFTA agreement includes 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs. If there were any issues, they could agree to meet on an annual basis to make sure outstanding issues didn't "fester" as one senior White House official put it.
While the announcement focused on the deal between the U.S. and its southern neighbour, Trump also mentioned negotiating a new deal with Canada.
Canada still needs to join the agreement, and any deal would need to be approved by Congress before it can go into effect. "A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!" he tweeted.
-Canada Tags Back In: One of the core NAFTA fights has been on cars - namely, low Mexican wages luring manufacturing jobs to the country. He said the trade deal between Mexico and the United States "was the largest trade deal ever made".
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