(Image / Justin Trudeau Facebook)

After over a year of heated and protracted negotiation, Canada and the U.S. have reached a tentative new NAFTA deal.

The deal was reached just hours before its midnight deadline, with concessions on both sides leading to the eventual settlement.

The most recent and intense impasse emerged over Canada granting the U.S. access to its dairy farms.

Canada eventually settled on giving the U.S. greater access to its dairy market, and in return the U.S. agreed to retain Chapter 19 of NAFTA, which functioned as a third-party dispute resolution system for the trade partners.

The trilateral deal with Canada, America, and Mexico has now also been renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and may include a “sunset clause” that calls for a break or renegotiation of the trade agreement every 5 years.

“​USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a joint statement on Sunday.

“It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

In September, Trump’s threats on “punitive tariffs” and Trudeau’s firm stance on not caving to “pressure tactics” raised concerns about a deal between the countries being reached.

However, now that the USMCA conditions have been tentatively settled, the trade deal could officially be signed in by December 1 of this year, after the U.S. congress conducts a 60 day review of the draft agreement.

“We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force,” said Freeland and Lighthizer in their joint statement.

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