US, Canada agree on trade deal to save Nafta, announcement expected soon

Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline

An announcement was "imminent" as of Sunday night, with just hours to go before the USA -imposed midnight deadline, the official said.

But it came at a cost, with Canada agreeing to provide U.S. dairy farmers with access to about 3.5% of its $16bn annual domestic dairy market, according to Canadian sources - and Canadian farmers hurt by the deal set to receive compensation.

Ottawa and Washington remained at odds over Canada's subsidized dairy sector, and the dispute resolution provisions in NAFTA.

The Trump administration had already agreed last month to an updated pact with Mexico, increasing the pressure on Canada to make concessions to join the deal.

Canada's ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, echoed the sentiment early Sunday evening, saying talks are moving forward but not yet completed.

The Trump administration plans to send the new deal to Congress, starting a 60-day review period before Trump can sign it. Congress can suggest changes during that time. However, the deal is expected to contain key provisions on Canada's dairy industry and vehicle exports to the US. "We're working towards a deal that is good for Canada", he told Global TV's "The West Block". "The United States can not come to the game and bring their own umpire calling balls and strikes ... especially when we see that Trump is so capable of arbitrary behaviour", he said, noting that the U.S President has already cited what Mr. McKenna called "laughable" security issues as rationale for recent tariffs. Vehicles imported to the United States from Mexico contain almost 20 to 30 percent USA content. In force since 1994, Nafta eliminated tariffs on most goods and governs more than US$1 trillion in trade on the continent.

"They're in the final strokes", said the person, based on information from USA administration officials. Trudeau said he would have more to say Monday.

The NAFTA negotiations have been in the works since August 16, 2017.

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Speaking at a political rally in Wheeling, West Virginia on Saturday night, Trump told supporters: "We´ll see what happens with Canada, if they come along".

However, one of Donald Trump's senior advisers is repeating the American threat to move on without Canada, if it will not fall in line by midnight. That can now take place before President Peña Nieto of Mexico leaves office on December 1.

The three countries began renegotiating NAFTA more than a year ago at the behest of Trump, who savaged the deal as a presidential candidate and says it has been a "rip-off" for the United States that has cost the country manufacturing jobs.

In this June 8, 2018, photo, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

United States business groups opposed turning NAFTA into a bilateral deal because the three nations' economies have become closely intertwined since the original pact came into force in 1994.

The deal represents a win for Trump, who has derided Nafta for years and threatened to pull the USA from the pact if it was not rewritten in Washington's favour.

Marc Garneau, a Canadian cabinet minister who heads Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's US -relations committee, said in a television interview aired Sunday that Canada continues to press for some kind of protection against auto tariffs.

Dairy: Canada will allow American farmers more access to its dairy market, raising quotas on the amount of USA dairy that can come into the country and eliminating a pricing system that made it more hard for U.S. farmers to enter the market.

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