Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland react the day after Canadian negotiators came to a new NAFTA in principle—known as USMCA—after a long weekend of final talks. Earlier today, U.S. President Donald Trump praised the agreement as a huge achievement, and credited Trudeau and his senior advisors for their professionalism.
Freeland spent more than a year forging a new deal. Read Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes’s exhaustive account of her work to save NAFTA.
The trade agreement finalized in the late hours of Sept. 30 between Canada and the U.S. amounts to a triumph of the desire to do a deal over what often seemed to be irreconcilable differences.
From the outset of these renegotiations, the dissonance between the tough-talking American rhetoric and the soft-pedaling Canadian tone made it seem like U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer—U.S. President Donald Trump’s top guy on the NAFTA file—and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland—entrusted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to safeguard Canada’s most vital trading relationship—must be talking about entirely different sets of talks.