At 11th Hour, Canada Joins New NAFTA Deal

Published: Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 11:15pm
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2018 - 12:02pm

After a frantic weekend of last-minute negotiations, Canada will be a part of a renegotiated NAFTA deal. 

A bilateral deal between Mexico and the United States that left Canada sidelined had been slated for release Friday afternoon. But that release was cancelled with the prospect of a full, trilateral deal being reached by a self-imposed midnight Sunday deadline.

After reaching agreement late Sunday, the top U.S. and Canadian negotiators said the deal would “give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region.”

MORE: Read The Agreement

But simply having a full trilateral deal bodes well for Arizona trade, according to Glenn Hamer of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“This is a great Sunday,” he said. “For the Arizona-Sonora region, this is joyous news. Our economies are so interlocked and becoming closer.”

Mexico and Canada are Arizona’s top two trading partners.

In Sonora, the deal was also praised by the group representing export manufacturers.

“It gives certainty to investments, both those that are already established in the region, and those that could come,” said Gerardo Vazquez, head of INDEX Sonora.

The midnight Sunday deadline was intended to allow outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the deal before his last day in office Nov. 30. US trade law requires 60 days to lapse before a trade deal can be signed by any parties.

Major sticking points between the U.S. and Canada involved an independent dispute resolution mechanism and Canada’s protected dairy industry.

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper reported Sunday night that the dispute body was preserved in exchange for greater access to the country’s dairy market. Canada also negotiated protection from future auto tariffs.

The deal will ultimately need to be approved by all three countries’ legislatures.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to update what the terms Canada negotiated. 

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