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Amidst a trade war and rising rhetoric from the White House, there have been some doubts about whether Canada would be able to reach an agreement with the USA, adding to earlier threats from President Donald Trump that he would cancel NAFTA if a deal highly favourable to the United States is not be reached.

Just hours before a midnight deadline, the United States and Canadian governments agreed to a deal that would allow USA farmers greater access to Canada's dairy market and address concerns about potential U.S. auto tariffs, officials from both countries said.

The agreement will boost USA access to Canada's dairy market and protect Canada from possible United States auto tariffs, two sources with direct knowledge of the talk told Reuters.

Trump's primary objective in reworking NAFTA was to bring down USA trade deficits, a goal he has also pursued with China, by imposing hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on imported goods from the Asian giant.

The Trump administration had already agreed last month to an updated pact with Mexico, increasing the pressure on Canada to make concessions to join the deal.

David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to Washington, said earlier that the USA and Canada had made a lot of progress, but there was no deal yet.

US and Canadian negotiators have been negotiating around the clock this weekend to make a deadline that would allow the countries to sign the deal as the final act before Mexico's outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office at the end of November.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said it would be "unacceptable to sideline Canada, our largest export market in the world".

Reuters reported Sunday that Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner planned to brief Trump on Sunday.

Other compromises were reached on protecting Canada from possible auto tariffs, and raising the value of goods Canadians can order online from outside the country without paying duty, the source said.

A Canadian official told The Associated Press that the agreement preserves a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison.

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Mexico and the United States have already agreed new terms, and only recently it looked as if Canada could be excluded in a final agreement.

Trade officials for the three countries have been at it for more than a year.

MacNaughton is flying back to Washington Sunday night, one official said.

US stock index futures rose, with S&P 500 Index e-mini futures up more than 0.5 percent, suggesting the benchmark index would open near a record on Monday.

Canada had insisted on formal protection from the national security tariffs the Trump administration had threatened to impose on imported steel and aluminum. that could be extended to Canadian-made automobiles.

Current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto leaves office November 30 and therefore, the clock was ticking to get the deal done. Talks to revamp NAFTA began in August previous year.

In this June 8, 2018, photo, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

The three countries began renegotiating NAFTA more than a year ago at the behest of Trump, who savaged the deal as a presidential candidate and says it has been a "rip-off" for the United States that has cost the country manufacturing jobs.

"We agreed to that", Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City.

"It's a great deal and that's why Mexico has already entered into that deal with us", he told Fox News in another interview on September 29.


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