Canada-US reach free trade deal with Mexico

Canada-US reach free trade deal with Mexico
Canada, U.S. have reached a NAFTA deal, final approval to come: U.S. source
OTTAWA – Canada has reached a new trilateral trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, after nearly 14 months of NAFTA renegotiations.

The new deal is called the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA for short, according to a joint statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has promised that he would work to repair the governments relationship with the First Nations but at every turn that promise seems to be broken,” said Wes Studi, a Cherokee actor and activist for Native rights. “Whether its showing up to meet with Native leaders who traveled from miles and miles away only to leave early, or to allowing Native custody battles to play out in the superior court of Ontario with judges that disregard First Nations culture rather than being adjudicated in tribal courts, its clear he views us as political pawns.”

USMCA will 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.  It 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 statement said.

According to one high-level American source, the text of the deal was finalized around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, but issues remain around wording.

Earlier this month video captured Trudeau telling the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations he was “really, really upset” about how many chiefs wanted to speak during a scheduled meeting the group says was cut short by the prime minister. There is also an active feud between an Ontario judge and the First Nations over the case of Ken Hill, a wealthy First Nations businessman fighting to have his family dispute be settled in tribal court rather than in Canadian court.

It will take time to sort through the text of the deal, and to evaluate the details to assess the winners or losers, though tonight all three countries are celebrating the deal as a win-win-win.

“We are committed to reconciliation and that is why we established the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womens inquiry, committed to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action,” Pascuzzo said. “Additionally, our government has made unprecedented investments in Indigenous communities to ensure that all Indigenous people can live in strong, healthy communities.”

A senior Canadian official close to the talks tells CTV News that the deal is not 100 per cent finalized, but that as things stand, the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism remains intact; Canada will have a full cultural exemption; and Canada will be making what the source described as modest concessions on access to Canadas supply-managed dairy sector, comparable to what was agreed to as part of the CPTPP trade deal.

“I dont want that for our descendants, they deserve happiness and pride—and no one, not the Superior Court of Ontario or Prime Minister Trudeau, has the right to rob them of that, as they tried with my generation and those before mine,” Beach said. “We need the space guaranteed to us by the constitution. Were not going anywhere—Canada is our home, and so it will be for our children as well.”

Though,one of the senior U.S. administration officials who briefed reporters on background Sunday night described Canadas concessions on dairy as a big win for American farmers. These officials also said the deal includes stronger rules of origin,a review and termination provision aimed at preventing the deal from becoming outdated,and an ambitious slate of other provisions related to the digital age.

“Its incredibly difficult to look at the Hill custody case and not see a clear bias against our First Nations heritage and culture, but most importantly a disrespect for our tribal law,” Thrush said. “Provincial and federal courts have no business overseeing Native legal challenges, thats the very reason tribal courts exist.”

Talks over the weekend have included looking at ways to protect against the Section 232 auto tariffs that Trump threatened again last week. The Canadian source said that an exemption will be made for autos, though its unclear what will happen with the currently-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

“Prior to the meeting it had been agreed to that it would be Trudeau and eight others, but it turned out to be 30 or 40 others,” an official familiar with the meetings planning explained. “The prime minister was expressing his frustration because he wanted to hear everybody speak, but it was not possible for the hour.

The Americans made the text of the agreement public tonight, with the leaders of all three countries likely to convene before the end of November to sign the deal.

In short, we think this is a fantastic agreement for the United States but also for Canada and Mexico. Its a great win for the president and a validation of his strategy in the area of international trade, said one senior U.S. official.

For many, the issue is less with the specific case than with whether Trudeau thinks indigenous people should have the ability to be treated as a “sovereign people,” explained Stevie Salas, a Canadian guitarist who was awarded the Native American Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

The deal on the table is subject to the approval of the federal cabinet, which convened in Ottawa late Sunday night. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the cabinet meeting inside his office across the street from Parliament Hill, where high-level staff and Freeland had been working over the weekend to secure a NAFTA deal.

Trudeau in 2017 offered what was described by the New York Times as a “broad and emotional” apology to Canadas indigenous population, saying “its time for Canada to acknowledge its history for what it is: flawed, imperfect, and unfinished.” Trudeau wept during his apology.

This gave cabinet members the opportunity to understand what is on the table and how it could impact their portfolios, or regions. It was an intense last-minute push from Canadian officials to get a trilateral deal before the midnight Sunday deadline.

Trudeaus office also took issue with claims that the prime minister cut his meeting with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations short, explaining that his visible frustration in the video was due to his inability to hear from everyone that came to speak to him.”

Trudeau departed shortly after 11 p.m., saying that it was a good day for Canada and he would have more to say on Monday.

Matt Pascuzzo, press secretary for the prime ministers office, told the Free Beacon Trudeau “is fully committed to a nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit, based on recognition of rights, trust, respect, cooperation, and partnership.”

The federal cabinet was instructed to attend in-person, if they were in town, or to dial in on the phone to hear from Trudeau and his team. The House of Commons is scheduled to sit Monday morning.

“As Indigenous peoples, our rights, customs, ways, and laws must have a place of prominence in processes that impact our families, our children, and our lands,” Beach said. “Otherwise, nothing will change and our people will continue to suffer.”

With files from CTV News Richard Madan, Joyce Napier, Glen McGregor, Michel Boyer, and Mackenzie Gray

Adam Beach, who was raised on a First Nations reserve and is now a well-known actor, echoed Salass sentiments, saying the current struggle with Trudeaus administration is crucial for future generations.

Canada has reached a new trilateral trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, after nearly 14 months of NAFTA renegotiations.

Members of Canadas large indigenous population told the Free Beacon that the year since the apology has been a disappointment and that the frayed relationship has started to become visible to the public.

OTTAWA – Canada has reached a new trilateral trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, after nearly 14 months of NAFTA renegotiations.

The new deal is called the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA for short, according to a joint statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Prominent members of Canadas First Nations indigenous population took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for paying “lip service” to their peoples concerns about maintaining sovereign rights.

USMCA will 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.  It 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 statement said.

Michelle Thrush, a Canadian actress and First Nations activist, charged Trudeau with treating his promises to the First Nations “as nothing more than campaign promises.”

According to one high-level American source, the text of the deal was finalized around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, but issues remain around wording.

Pascuzzo also fought the charges leveled on his boss that no action had been taken to better the relationship Canada has with the indigenous population.

It will take time to sort through the text of the deal, and to evaluate the details to assess the winners or losers, though tonight all three countries are celebrating the deal as a win-win-win.

A senior Canadian official close to the talks tells CTV News that the deal is not 100 per cent finalized, but that as things stand, the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism remains intact; Canada will have a full cultural exemption; and Canada will be making what the source described as modest concessions on access to Canadas supply-managed dairy sector, comparable to what was agreed to as part of the CPTPP trade deal.

Though,one of the senior U.S. administration officials who briefed reporters on background Sunday night described Canadas concessions on dairy as a big win for American farmers. These officials also said the deal includes stronger rules of origin,a review and termination provision aimed at preventing the deal from becoming outdated,and an ambitious slate of other provisions related to the digital age.

Talks over the weekend have included looking at ways to protect against the Section 232 auto tariffs that Trump threatened again last week. The Canadian source said that an exemption will be made for autos, though its unclear what will happen with the currently-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

The Americans made the text of the agreement public tonight, with the leaders of all three countries likely to convene before the end of November to sign the deal.

In short, we think this is a fantastic agreement for the United States but also for Canada and Mexico. Its a great win for the president and a validation of his strategy in the area of international trade, said one senior U.S. official.

The deal on the table is subject to the approval of the federal cabinet, which convened in Ottawa late Sunday night. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the cabinet meeting inside his office across the street from Parliament Hill, where high-level staff and Freeland had been working over the weekend to secure a NAFTA deal.

This gave cabinet members the opportunity to understand what is on the table and how it could impact their portfolios, or regions. It was an intense last-minute push from Canadian officials to get a trilateral deal before the midnight Sunday deadline.

Trudeau departed shortly after 11 p.m., saying that it was a good day for Canada and he would have more to say on Monday.

The federal cabinet was instructed to attend in-person, if they were in town, or to dial in on the phone to hear from Trudeau and his team. The House of Commons is scheduled to sit Monday morning.

With files from CTV News Richard Madan, Joyce Napier, Glen McGregor, Michel Boyer, and Mackenzie Gray

Canada has reached a new trilateral trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, after nearly 14 months of NAFTA renegotiations.