Canada and U.S. Reach Trade Deal to Replace NAFTA

The United States and Canada agreed to a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement shortly before a midnight deadline.

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

The plan is for the leaders of the three North American countries to sign before the end of November, after which it would be submitted to Congress.

The negotiations between American and Canadian officials involved offering more market access to U.S. dairy farmers, as well as Canada agreeing to an arrangement effectively capping automobile exports to the United States.

The deal will also modernize what was covered by NAFTA by adding provisions on digital trade and intellectual property, the administration official said.

The trade pact will come up for review every six years, which will give the U.S. a “significant new form of leverage” to make sure the arrangement is to its liking, according to the senior American official.

“It’s a good day for Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “We celebrate a trilateral deal. The door closes on trade fragmentation in the region,” Jesus Seade, trade negotiator for Mexico’s incoming president, said via Twitter.