Three ways the new NAFTA deal kept changing after it was announced


Declines out the negotiations to revise the North American trade agreement didn’t end when the covenant was announced Oct.1.

The 60-day period leading up to its formal signature in Buenos Aires on Friday comprehended an additional two months of haggling over specific parts of the deal.

A few significant changes were made over the last two months during a transform officials call a “legal scrub” — a detailed line-by-line reassess meant to catch technical errors and typos, to ensure the trade pact could be implemented the way its negotiators intended.

Here are three ways the engage in kept changing after its negotiating deadline.

Dairy pricing transparency

Earlier this week, CBC News broadcast reported that Canada’s national dairy organizations, the Dairy Husbandmen of Canada and the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, wrote to Prime Cabinet officer Justin Trudeau asking him not to sign the new NAFTA.

They saw some sleight-of-hand on the Americans’ component. They were already facing major concessions in the agreement harbingered two months ago: new guaranteed market access for American farmers (3.6 per cent of the vend, the government says, although the dairy sector says it’s more in the same way as 3.9), a limit on how much Canada can export to other countries and an end to Canada’s remarkable pricing system to keep dairy ingredients competitive (known as year 6 or class 7 in the industry).

When the dairy groups combed through the paragraph posted on the United States Trade Representative’s website, they also build some onerous new disclosure and reporting requirements.

Canadian government intercessors told the groups over several meetings that this was not approved at the tableland and the language would be removed during the legal scrub. It wasn’t — or not fully, anyway.

The Canadian dairy industry is now required to publish sensitive value information and notify the U.S. before it makes changes to its milk classification routine. That likely would include any creative replacement it might be contemplating for its soon-to-be dismantled ingredient assessing strategy. This oversight requirement imposed by Uncle Sam was a challenge to Canadian power, they argued: domestic dairy pricing isn’t the Americans’ business, and Canadians should be competent to run their industry as they see fit.

It’s evident from the new text posted Friday that elaborate conversations between the governments happened regarding this language. A administration official said Friday that some of the text that would keep required the disclosure of competitive information was removed from the final see to. But while that portion of the deal was revised, the oversight requirements didn’t en masse go away.

“This should not be understated, and will have a lasting clout on our domestic dairy sector,” said Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Smallholders of Canada, in a Friday media release.

“The agriculture chapter fails to lecture our concerns,” Mathieu Frigon, who heads the processors’ association, told CBC Scoop, calling the changes “additional concessions” that give the U.S. a say in how his industry livelihoods.

Automotive side letter beefed up

Monday’s announcement of the closure of Comprehensive Motors plants — in Oshawa, four American locations and elsewhere wide the world — focused Canadian minds on the precariousness of Ontario’s automotive sector.

In late-model days, U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have ratcheted up their flamboyant threats to impose tariffs of up to 25 per cent on imported vehicles and automotive participations. Given that it was not exempt from “national security” tariffs on its sword and aluminum exports, Canada needed what Mexican officials basic called “insurance”: a negotiated deal to keep Canada out from any approaching protectionist car tariff announcements.

The text posted by the Americans on Oct.1 included a side letter which communicated Canada had agreed to a quota system: if it didn’t export more than the individualized threshold, it wouldn’t face the tariffs.

That letter was revised at bottom during the legal scrub.

A paragraph describing how the thresholds could be revamped by the parties has been removed. And the new side letter — signed by Foreign Activities Minister Chrystia Freeland after the main ceremony Friday — is here twice as long. Now it’s full of new details that appear designed to concede Canada control over monitoring and otherwise sorting out which offshoots are eligible for exclusion from hypothetical tariffs.

There are now specific commitments in the administer requiring the Canadian government to consult with the Canadian automotive vigour as part of this process.

And Canada’s “insurance” now appears to be more full-bodied than it was in the first draft. That could indicate that what was at the same time thought to be an empty threat on the part of the White House (remember talk of “Carmageddon?”) is construct into a plausible source of worry for Canada.

No discrimination, except …

Canadian officials fellow to focus on their “progressive” trade agenda, one they say combines profitable objectives with the promotion of human rights and environmental protection.

The new grind chapter includes language on eliminating discrimination in the workplace, supporting the missises’s equality and protecting workers from harassment and discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, sex orientation, gender identity and caregiving responsibilities.

That raised worries among a group of 40 Republican lawmakers, who demanded that this communication be removed as a condition of their support for its ratification. That support, by the way, is far from encouraged in the U.S. Congress, especially since the election last month of a Democratic womanhood in the House of Representatives.

“A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social approach,” they wrote, arguing this deal would force Congress to suppose changes it has so far explicitly refused to accept.

The Canadians vowed to fight to maintain this language in the deal. And they did — it’s still there. But something new has been combined: a footnote saying that existing American policies are “sufficient to comply with the obligations set forth in this Article” and “no additional action is required” on the principally of the U.S. — including changes to the American Civil Rights Act — to be in compliance.

This doesn’t interpret into any meaningful change for Canadians. It may disappoint some Americans, who may should prefer to supported including strong anti-discrimination language in the final deal.

But there’s a bigger receive away from this change: the campaign for votes in Congress has already started, and it’s contemporary to be a very intense fight. Votes are going to be won and lost on a lot of fronts — equanimous the ones that might seem like mere footnotes to some.

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