Trump hails new trade deal with Canada, Mexico

US President Donald Trump on Monday welcomed the new and historic trade deal struck with Mexico and Canada to replace the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Trump said the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will open markets to US farmers and manufacturers, reduce trade barriers and bring the three nations closer in competition with the rest of the world.

The last-minute deal is seen as a victory for Trump who had threatened to leave the 25-year-old Nafta which he called the worst deal ever made.

A US-Canada joint statement said the deal will strengthen the middle class, create lucrative jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people in the region.

Under USMCA, Canada relaxed dairy market protections to allow greater access to US farmers. The US agreed to Ottawa’s demand to retain an independent tariff-dispute mechanism.

Canada also won protections against Trump’s threat to impose auto tariffs, a source told Toronto Star.