In Brief

Canada, US and Mexico reach deal to replace Nafta

Canada signs on just hours before self-imposed midnight deadline

Canada has made a last-minute agreement to join the US and Mexico in a new deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), allowing outgoing Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the accord on his final day in office.

The agreement comes after a flurry of phone calls between negotiators for all three nations over the weekend, although one of Donald Trump’s closest White House trade advisers, Peter Navarro, told the Washington Post that there are “several sticking points” remaining in the “broad agreement”.

The new deal will be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), CNBC reports, with the full text of the agreement due to be made public in the next 24 hours.

The deal, however, is far from complete, with a number of significant hurdles for the USMCA to clear before it goes into effect.

The race to have all three nations sign up to the agreement was rushed in order to get Pena’s signature on the document before left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took power in Mexico to try to make changes.

The USMCA also faces an uncertain future as it will need to be ratified by a US Congress in 2019 which could be drastically re-shaped by November’s midterm elections.

Further complicating matters are several sections of the agreement which could prove politically unpopular for Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who is facing his own federal election in 2019.

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