Thursday, 19 September 2019

US, Canada in last-minute NAFTA deal: media

AFP

TORONTO: Canadian and US negotiators reached a deal late Sunday on reforming the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian media reported, after more than a year of talks triggered by US President Donald Trump’s discontent with the 24-year old pact.

CTV cited a high-level American source as saying the two sides had reached an agreement and that a joint statement was expected.

Another Canadian channel, CBC, said a “senior source” confirmed that a deal had been reached on significant sections of a new NAFTA.

Word of an agreement followed an emergency cabinet meeting called by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 10:00 pm (0200 GMT) — two hours ahead of a Washington-imposed midnight deadline for getting the text of a revised agreement to the United States Congress.

Reports of a deal caused a jump in the Canadian dollar on early Asian trading with the loonie up 0.7 percent from its Friday close at $1.2814.

Talks between the US, Canada and Mexico began last August after Trump called it “one of the worst trade deals in history.”

Earlier Sunday, David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, had said there was “lots of progress, but we’re not there yet,” before heading back to Washington from Ottawa.

Peter Navarro, an adviser to Trump on trade, told Fox News: “Everybody is negotiating in good faith right now as we speak.

“The deadline is midnight tonight to get the text into Congress to make sure this goes forward.”

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