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A new era in North American free trade dawned in the dead of night Sunday as a 14-month NAFTA modernization effort between Canada, the US and Mexico finally came to fruition with just hours to spare before an end-of-weekend deadline.

U.S. officials intend to sign the agreement with Canada and Mexico at the end of November, after which it would be submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval, a senior U.S. official said.

Despite the fact it's one of Trump's favourite talking points, the politically sensitive question of greater USA access to Canada's dairy market is also no longer a hurdle, say sources familiar with the talks.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner planned to brief Trump on Sunday on the talks, said a U.S. source familiar with the discussions.

There was also an agreement to protect 2.6 million exports a year of Canadian vehicles to the USA from possible U.S. tariffs of 25% that Mr Trump may impose.

Canada and the USA have reached a last-minute free trade deal to revamp the long-standing NAFTA pact between the two countries and Mexico.

Mr. Trudeau has had occasional contact with bank CEOs throughout the long-running negotiations between Canada, the US and Mexico to revamp the North American free-trade agreement. He blames the treaty for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and has repeatedly threatened to abandon the trade past signed in 1994, during the Clinton administration.

Negotiators for the United States and Canada were able to overcome major sticking points between the two countries, including Canada's protection of its dairy market and a system for settling trade disputes.

"His tariffs are too high, he doesn't seem to want to move and I've told him forget about it", Trump said at a freewheeling press conference. Trudeau said he would have more to say Monday.

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President Donald Trump has approved the developments and the expectation is that an agreement will be announced on Sunday night (Monday morning, Singapore time), according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mexico agreed to remove NAFTA's Chapter 19, a dispute resolution mechanism for anti-dumping matters, which put Canada in a hard position. Trade officials on both sides rushed to hammer out differences before a Sunday midnight deadline.

Trump has already imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel, citing national security, and is threatening similar punitive measures against auto exports. The new deal likely won't be voted on by the U.S. Congress until 2019. Of these imported vehicles, half were made in Canada or Mexico.

Under the current system, US imports exceeding quota levels are subject to excessively high tariffs, such as 245 percent for cheese and 298 percent for butter.

But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts imported into the United States.

Officials say the agreement preserves a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the USA wanted to jettison.

Among the tough issues that needed to be hashed out between Ottawa and Washington were access to Canada's dairy sector, tariffs and a dispute resolution mechanism that the U.S. wanted to scrap.

It will also be called the "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement", or USMCA. Earlier this summer Lighthizer, the US trade representative, took a different tack by negotiating separately with Mexico and ultimately forging a bilateral agreement, putting pressure on Ottawa to join or face the possibility of being left out.


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