As Q3 2018 came to an end, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement in principle on a new trade deal, the USMCA, to replace NAFTA. The deal provides for increased access to Canada’s dairy market for US-based producers and retains dispute resolution provisions that Canada negotiated vigorously to keep.
Still unresolved is the issue of countermeasures introduced by Canada during Q3 2018 in response to US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Some of the tariffs imposed by Canada have affected consumer products, such as coffee, yogurt, mayonnaise, soya sauce and toilet paper, and led some major grocery chains to warn about the need to pass down the extra costs to consumers. While retailers had already been grappling with a range of cost pressures, including minimum wage increases in some provinces, some grocery store executives have said the tariffs have forced them to look more closely at raising prices.