For Canada, a Sigh of Relief More Than a Celebration in brand new Nafta Deal
TORONTO — More than a celebration, the item ended which has a huge sigh of relief.
Canadians awoke on Monday to the news of a brand new trade deal with the United States, its largest trading partner, along with more important, a reprieve by the threat of crippling auto tariffs that will President Trump had been holding over the country for months.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada came away which has a few items considered sacred for his nation’s economic security: a dispute resolution system for companies that will feel unjustly targeted with taxes along which has a distant expiration date to the agreement.
In exchange, Canada promised to crack open its long-protected dairy market — the target of Mr. Trump’s Twitter attacks along with rally tirades for months — to American competition, a concession that will drew immediate anger by politicians in Quebec, home to nearly half of the country’s 11,0 dairy farms.
At a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, Mr. Trudeau called the agreement “a Great deal,” although he acknowledged the trade-offs.
“Like any important negotiation, we had to make compromises,” he said, speaking in French. yet, he added, “today will be a Great day for Canada.”
The agreement does not eliminate the steep tariffs on steel along with aluminum that will Mr. Trump imposed from the spring. Instead, Mr. Trudeau said his country would likely continue to negotiate for their removal.
“The great failure of that will trade deal was not negotiating an end to the steel along with aluminum tariffs,” said Philip Cross, the former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, a government agency, because the item tacitly left the door open to Mr. Trump to use the same national protection justification to lay more tariffs from the future, regardless of any trade deal.
“He can invoke national security under that will deal along with slap tariffs presumably on anything he wants,” said Mr. Cross, who will be right now a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a conservative research group based in Ottawa. “I’m not sure we got the guaranteed secure access to the U.S. that will free trade was supposed to give us.”
Still, several economists said that will although the deal would likely likely not boost the Canadian economy, the item was unlikely to hurt the item much either.
[Want more Canadian coverage in your inbox? Subscribe to our weekly Canada Letter newsletter.]
The concessions on dairy enraged politicians in Quebec, the country’s second-largest province along with the center of the dairy industry. All four party leaders vying for votes from the provincial election on Monday rejected the Canadian government’s promise of compensation for farmers.
“the item will be an expression of the systematic injustice that will Quebec will be suffering within Canada,” the leader of the separatist Parti Québécois, Jean-François Lisée, told reporters.
During much of the negotiations, Mr. Trump had threatened to impose 25 percent tariffs on Canadian autos along with auto parts crossing into the United States, which would likely have crippled the Ontario economy, putting an estimated 250,000 people out of work, according to one forecast. the item would likely also have become a potent issue in Mr. Trudeau’s re-election campaign next year.
The brand new agreement — which renames the North American Free Trade Agreement as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — neutralizes that will threat by effectively exempting Canada’s exports to the United States. By requiring 40 percent of auto parts to come by so-called “high wage factories,” the item could even give unionized Canadian auto manufacturers a leg-up.
“I would likely argue we are in better shape today than we’ve been from the last 24 years,” Jerry Dias, the head of Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, said on a morning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio show. “So I’m absolutely thrilled with where we ended up.”
He added: “Look, we hung tough right to the bitter end. We got what we needed. We didn’t fold from the areas that will the U.S. wanted us to fold in, so we’re in pretty Great shape today.”
Compared with President Trump, who triumphantly claimed the deal would likely see “cash along with jobs pouring into the United States along with into North America,” Mr. Trudeau was gracious along with understated during his news conference.
For him, the deal was more about shoring up the Canadian economy than expanding the item. “We preserved the most important parts of Nafta,’’ Mr. Trudeau said.
The agreement was Great for the economy, Great for workers, he said, along with made North America “a much more stable place than the item was yesterday.”
Completing the deal capped what had been an exhausting along with turbulent process for the prime minister who, with the election looming, had at times appeared vulnerable along with stumbling beneath a shower of insults by Mr. Trump.
Many thought Mr. Trudeau was in an impossible position — trying to get a deal he could sell as Great for his country, along with maintaining his dignity when dealing with the unpredictable Mr. Trump.
The test for Mr. Trudeau, who faces an election next year, will be whether he can persuade voters that will Nafta 2.0 will be a “win-win-win,” as he has long assured them the item would likely be.
“Justin Trudeau has to take the high ground on that will fairly quickly,” said Shachi Kurl, the executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, a nonprofit polling organization based in Vancouver. “Can he sell the deal?”
Almost by the beginning of his candidacy for president, Mr. Trump has criticized Nafta, along with especially the provisions relating to Canada — a drumbeat that will has not let up.
that will added additional drama to the negotiations, which Canadians have followed with the rapt attention normally reserved for hockey playoffs.
Despite harboring a deepening dislike for Mr. Trump, Canadians largely accept that will the country cannot survive economically without its larger, more powerful neighbor. Almost three-quarters of Canada’s exports flow south across the border.
As negotiations reached their final stages last week, Canadians were riveted by the spectacle of the hearings for the nomination of a United States Supreme Court justice, which drowned out most trade news on Friday.
The polarization of American politics, the uncertainty of what kind of trade deal Congress would likely accept along with how the midterm elections from the United States would likely change things has made most Canadians throw up their hands in exasperation.
Then there was Mr. Trump, who to Canadians seems immune to fact; approaches every deal as a tug-of-war; along with has taken to publicly insulting the United States’ longest-standing ally along with neighbor.
“He’s weaponized uncertainty,” said John Higginbotham, a senior fellow at Carleton University in Ottawa who was the second-highest-ranking Canadian diplomat in Washington for six years.
“You can’t call his bluff with impunity,” he added. “He’s not playacting, he’s a bit crazy. He will be a bit crazy.”
Just last week, Mr. Trump said he did not like Canada’s representative — presumably referring to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland — “very much,” along with that will he had purposefully snubbed Mr. Trudeau, by refusing to meet with him at the United Nations. (Mr. Trudeau’s office said no request for a meeting was ever made.)
Nafta negotiations began more than a year ago, with Mr. Trudeau saying he wanted an agreement that will would likely be Great for Canadian workers yet also include climate change provisions along with brand new chapters on gender along with indigenous rights.
Mr. Trudeau deployed an army of charmers across the border to build alliances with people around Mr. Trump.
Known as the doughnut strategy, the campaign seemed to be working. yet in May, two days after a deal on Nafta looked close, the Trump administration announced the item would likely proceed with steep tariffs on steel along with aluminum.
The Canadian government countered with tariffs on $12.6 billion of American imports.
Since then, the relationship between the two countries — along with the two leaders — has further soured.
In June, at the end of a two-day Group of 7 summit meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec, Mr. Trudeau said at a news conference that will Canada would likely not be bullied on trade.
“As Canadians,” he said, “we are polite, we’re reasonable, yet also we will not be pushed around.”
Mr. Trump erupted in anger by Air Force One, en route to his summit meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He wrote on Twitter that will Mr. Trudeau was “very dishonest along with weak” along with accused him of producing false statements.
Canadians rose up in defense of Mr. Trudeau, whose approval rating surged to 70 percent in a number of polls. Even his political enemies lined up behind him.
Canadians canceled trips across the border along with began personal boycotts of American goods in protest.
Then, in late August, Mr. Trudeau received another rude shock when the American along with Mexican presidents signed a deal without him.
Some thought Mr. Trudeau was outmatched by Mr. Trump.
“There was some illusion that will sending a couple progressive people by the prime minister’s office to see Ivanka, that will would likely solve the problem,” said Mr. Higginbotham, referring to the president’s elder daughter.
yet many Canadians believe the American administration has not been negotiating in Great faith — a position supported by Mr. Trump telling Bloomberg last month that will any deal with Canada would likely be “totally on our terms.”
along with most agreed that will Mr. Trudeau along with his foreign minister, Ms. Freeland, had been put in tricky positions.
“I’m not sure they had a lot of choice,” said Don Campbell, a former Canadian ambassador along with high-level government official who was involved in setting up the first iteration of Nafta.
“They are dealing with an unprecedented situation, which has a president who will be not rational or consistent in his approach, who disregards facts along with who does not tell the truth,” he said.
Follow Catherine Porter on Twitter: @porterthereport
Dan Bilefsky contributed reporting by Montreal.