NAFTA is dead. Long live the USMCA.
After a tortuously long year and a half of negotiations, a final frenetic push of talks this weekend have produced a new trade deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico just minutes before the U.S.-imposed deadline of October 1.
The new agreement (which you can read here if you’re into trade policy) is called the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, and replaces the North American free-trade agreement negotiated more than 25 years ago.
The deal is largely the same as what it replaced, with some changes scattered here and there. The U.S. dairy industry will have more access to the Canadian market, and U.S. businesses will find it easier to sell products online to Canadian consumers without them paying a duty.
Many of Canada’s biggest wins involve preserving what they had before, such as the Chapter 19 dispute-resolution mechanism and keeping the Trump administration from imposing damaging tariffs on auto manufacturers.
In Mexico, meanwhile, there seems to be relief that there is a deal at all.
We’ll find out more later today. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland have scheduled a news conference at noon in Ottawa to take questions from reporters about the new trade agreement.
You have less than two weeks left to take advantage of our special offer of 75 per cent off all digital access to The Globe & Mail. Beginning October 11, the Politics Briefing newsletter will become a subscriber-only feature. We rely on our subscribers to support our ambitious journalism. If you’re not a paying subscriber yet, we hope you’ll join us to continue to receive this newsletter and get full digital access. The offer expires Oct. 11. Thank you for your readership and please let me know if you have questions. Scott Adams
Quebec votes today in an election that has been marked by how little sovereignty is a factor. Polls have been close for weeks and it’s not clear yet whether the Coalition Avenir Quebec or the Liberals will emerge triumphant.
U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical that Canada can properly safeguard itself from potential cybersecurity threats from Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
People who crossed the Canada-U.S. border on foot in pursuit of asylum and who are still waiting for the Canadian government to assess their claims will have to live in hotels a while longer.
B.C.'s fresh probe into money laundering will include an examination of private lenders, whose influence on the Vancouver real estate market was the subject of a Globe and Mail investigation. The province announced the next step of its money laundering review last week, building on earlier work that uncovered dirty money flowing through B.C.'s casinos.
The owners of a $40-billion liquefied natural gas project on northern British Columbia are expected to make a final investment decision within days. Two of the five owners of LNG Canada have already approved the project, which would see LNG shipped from Kitimat, and a source said the remaining owners are expected to announce their own plans in the next week to 10 days.
And Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics is being billed as a chance to add thousands of affordable housing units to the city. The draft plan for the bid calls for 2,800 units of accommodations for Olympic athletes and officials, most of which would eventually become housing at below-market rates.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the new trade deal: “The North American free-trade agreement was re-opened and was being stitched back up without major damage to the Canadian economy. If the emerging details bear that out, Mr. Trudeau will count that as a win. The threat of a disastrous North American trade war will be over.”
Barrie McKenna (The Globe and Mail) on the Trans Mountain pipeline: “Surely, the lesson of Trans Mountain is that taking short cuts and ignoring legitimate opposition is what got Ottawa into this mess.”
Nicole Pietsch (The Globe and Mail) on sexual assault cases in the public eye: “In my work as a counsellor at a sexual assault centre, I came to understand the many reasons why victims choose silence over speaking out. Many fear the impacts of the truth on their families, workplaces or community, especially when the offender is a part of that community (in the majority of sexual assault cases, the offender is known to the victim in some way). Others are worried about being disbelieved, blamed or ostracized.”
Colby Cosh (National Post) on artificial intelligence screening of refugee applications: “But any introduction of ‘machine learning’ to the overall process is bound to awaken protective instincts in the academy and the world of think-tanks. A ‘risk score’ for refugees would have all the same obvious problems that credit scores sometimes do — and then some.”
Sheema Khan (The Globe and Mail) on Islamic history month and a proposed day to combat Islamophobia: “Let’s not forget the outpouring of support extended to Muslims following the horrific event at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec. This is a compassionate nation. We come together at times of sorrow. Our hearts may be wounded by the horror, but they are profoundly transformed through collective compassion.”