OTTAWA, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) signed Sunday night is a good deal for the three countries.
The USMCA came in the final hours before the deadline for Canada to come on board a renegotiated trilateral deal. It will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) once fully ratified.
At a press conference held in Ottawa Monday noon, Trudeau described the USMCA in principle as a preservation of many aspects of the NAFTA.
He said the USMCA will modernize and stabilize the economy for the 21st century, and guarantee a higher standard of living for Canadians for the long term.
Striking the deal was no easy feat and Canada got there by maintaining its focus and collective resolve, Trudeau said, defending his negotiating team's concessions on the dairy sector, and promising to address the "anxiety" with adequate compensation for affected farmers and to protect the supply management system.
Noting that the agreement must still be ratified by the three countries, Trudeau said the tentative deal means economic stability for the continent.
Before the press conference, Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who led the Canadian team of negotiators throughout the trilateral talks, spent Monday morning briefing premiers of Canadian provinces about the details of the new agreement which is expected to have an impact across industries and regions of the country.
The Canadian prime minister is set to hold a cabinet meeting Monday afternoon. It will be the second cabinet meeting in less than 24 hours after Sunday night's 10:00 p.m.(local time) gathering of federal ministers when news began to break of a new deal on the table.
Monday morning, Trudeau spoke by phone with U.S President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
In the talks, according to the Canadian Prime Minister Office, Trudeau and his North American counterparts praised the deal, and stressed how the deal will bring the countries closer and enhance North American competitiveness.
The leaders of the three countries are expected to convene before the end of November to sign the deal, which will allow outgoing Nieto to sign the new agreement before his successor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office in December.