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Tariff threat casts shadow on NAFTA talks

08 March 2018

As well, tax changes have the potential to change the way Canadian companies structure global businesses and how they do business in the United States. Closer to home, his hot rhetoric about trade with Mexico and Canada is propelling our neighbors to start pulling away. Having a congressional delegation on the ground talking with leaders from all three countries reinforced our commitment to upholding the agreement. And it is downright loathed by American producers, who say Canada has abused the supply management system to flood the world market with cheap milk powders.

US, Canadian, and Mexican officials finished their 7th round of talks on NAFTA in Mexico City on Monday.

Last April, the president tweeted that Canada "has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very hard", and that the U.S. "It's an incentive to get a deal".

"The president indicated that if we can work something out with Canada and Mexico, they will be exempted".

However, he said the deal has benefited the USA, which he said has about 9 million jobs that depend on free trade with Canada.

"We are definitely going to end up with these tariffs, and we're going to roll this out very, very quickly", Mnuchin told Fox Business.

Canada is now in talks to join the Pacific Alliance - a trade bloc including Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

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In mid-February, MEMA wrote to Trump opposing any action saying it was necessary for auto supply companies to have access to specialty steel and aluminum products so they can keep manufacturing parts in the United States.

"The president understands the economy".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed on Wednesday that the administration will move forward with President Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. For example, Australia's trade agreement with Japan brought the tariff on its frozen beef down to 27 percent, which means US beef producers now are facing almost double the tariff as their Australian counterparts. "Mexico does have other options".

There have been a lot of changes to the economies of North America since the development of NAFTA nearly 25 years ago.

Northam said that since NAFTA was enacted, Virginia forestry and agriculture exports to Canada have grown by 475 percent, while exports to Mexico have grown by more than 1,300 percent.

One of Trump's main campaign pledges was to renegotiate the 1994 trade deal, which he claims unfairly benefits Mexico at the expense of USA industry and jobs, and the talks began in mid-August. He told a crowd at an event in Wisconsin that month that Canada's dairy policy was a "disgrace" and "another typical one-sided deal against the U.S".

But Trump's continual bashing of NAFTA has forced Mexicans to play defense. First, he said, to update the "outdated" 1994 trade agreement, to include "new issues like digital trade, labor, and environment, intellectual property, and much more".

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Representatives from the three countries just finished the seventh round of talks on Monday in the Mexico City when Trump announced the measure on March 1. He is expected to reveal more details later this week.

Clearly, damage has already been done to USA interests.

Canada has also been looking elsewhere.

That would mean completing the deal within weeks.

"In that event, we would take responsive measures to protect our workers and our industry". His threats to deport immigrants brought to this country illegally as children can not possibly be helping.

The NAFTA talks have moved slowly since they began in August, in part because of US demands ranging from changes to automotive content origin rules and dispute resolution mechanisms to imposing a clause that could automatically kill NAFTA after five years. It would be China.

Japan has appealed to the US for just such an exclusion as an important American ally.

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Froma Harrop is a columnist with Creators Syndicate.

Tariff threat casts shadow on NAFTA talks