Canada's Trudeau says made difficult compromises to reach new trade deal
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that Canada made some difficult compromises to reach a deal to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, Reuters reported.
A last-minute deal, reached on Sunday night, commits Canada, Mexico and the United States in a trilateral agreement that U.S. President Donald Trump called “the most important trade deal we’ve ever made by far.”
“We had to make compromises, and some were more difficult than others,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Ottawa. “We never believed that it would be easy, and it wasn’t, but today is a good day for Canada.”
The Canadian dollar strengthened to a four-month high as traders bet that easing trade tensions would support another Bank of Canada interest rate hike as soon as this month. Canadian auto parts markers jumped, though the country’s main stock index edged lower after a strong start.
The deal would preserve Chapter 19, a dispute resolution mechanism that Canadian negotiators saw as crucial protection against unfair U.S. tariffs, but offer U.S. farmers new access to Canada’s sheltered dairy industry.
It protects Canada’s automotive industry from potentially devastating U.S. tariffs, but includes no assurance that the United States will lift tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
The United Steelworkers of Canada union called the deal a “sellout” for steel and aluminum workers.
“The Liberals made concession after concession, until the Trump administration got the deal it wanted,” the union’s Canadian director, Ken Neumann said in a statement.
At 12:38 p.m. EDT (1638 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading 0.8 percent higher at C$1.2795 to the greenback, or 78.16 U.S. cents.
At 12:43 p.m. EDT, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 2.69 points, or 0.02 percent, at 16,070.45.