Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Trump says USMCA doesn’t lift steel, aluminum tariffs

Rebecca Cook  REUTERS  Newscom Rebecca Cook REUTERS Newscom
Scott Davis | 02 October, 2018, 12:38

Canadians appeared to breathe a collective sigh of relief Monday at the signing of a new North American trade deal - not because it was a win, exactly, experts said, but because the result could have been much worse.

The U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement if the three countries' legislatures approve it, was finalized late Sunday after a long negotiating process made uncertain by the mercurial nature of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

So-called Chapter 19 dispute panels, which the US wants to eliminate from Nafta and which Canada wants to preserveAn exemption for cultural sectors which Canada wants to preserveThe use of Section 232 investigations to apply tariffs to steel, aluminum, and potentially cars. Canada also successfully pushed to keep a special dispute process, called Chapter 19, intact. But even that disapproval was relatively muted.

Trump has always been critical of Canada's dairy regulations, tweeting in June that their tariffs are "not fair to our farmers".

The discontent may play into the Quebec election, taking place Monday. "So fair trade is always better than using one commodity to make an agreement happen".

Trump complained about the behavior of Canadian officials, and said he rejected a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, although Trudeau's office said no meeting was planned. He said he was pleased with the deal, given the circumstances and despite moments of "pessimism" along the way.

"India charges us tremendous tariffs".

It follows months of friction over the deal between President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "China trade talks as well".

The most significant difference between NAFTA and the USMCA may be as simple as the rebranding exercise itself, which some observers said would hand Trump political capital, regardless of its substance.




He said he hopes the aluminum and steel tariffs can be resolved shortly, but that the manufacturing industry didn't lose on what's in the new deal.

Stock markets rallied on Monday as news of the agreement spread.

"The United States in its trade deals has lost on average nearly $800 billion a year". But I looked at it and said, I don't really blame you. "The fact is that the American economy is 10 times bigger than the Canadian economy".

In 2012, Manila complained that Beijing had stopped buying bananas from the Philippines, following the maritime dispute over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, while a year ago, South Korea's decision to install the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system also elicited an economic response from China.

In reality, neither Beijing nor Washington may think a return to the trade relationship of the recent past is possible or desirable.

Mexico's economics ministry said in a tweet earlier Sunday that the text of the pact would be delivered to the Mexican Senate Sunday night, adding that, "If there is agreement with Canada, the text will be trilateral".

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said it was relieved that an agreement in principle had been reached. It explicitly states that if one of the signatories enters into such an agreement, the other two have the right to withdraw from the USMCA with six months' notice.

"This landmark agreement will send cash and jobs pouring into the United States and into North America", predicted Trump.

The U.S. and Canada have been hung up on some core issues. "USA steel companies winning, Canadian steel companies losing". USA pharmaceutical winning and Canadian pharmaceutical losing.

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