Wednesday, 12 December, 2018


Reactions to USMCA trade deal criticize Trudeau government's concessions

Reactions to USMCA trade deal criticize Trudeau government's concessions Reactions to USMCA trade deal criticize Trudeau government's concessions
Conrad Doyle | 02 October, 2018, 04:44

On Sunday, it was announced that the parties had reached a new deal, which is now being referred to as the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement - or USMCA.

Dairy cows are seen on a farm in Saint-Valerien-de-Milton, southeast of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 30, 2018.

"It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduce Trade Barriers to the US and will bring all three Great Nations closer together in competition with the rest of the world", Trump said.

Trump's advisers view the trade pact as a political victor in Midwest battleground states critical to the president's 2016 victory and home to tens of thousands of auto workers and manufacturers who could benefit from the changes.

And he cheered the fact it will give American farmers and dairy producers greater access to markets in Canada and Mexico, protect auto manufacturing jobs and encourage innovation on US soil.

The three countries came to the final deal, which Trump called the "most modern, up-to-date and balanced trade agreement" in US history, late on Sunday.

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during a meeting in the Oval Office in February.

Trump threatened to go ahead with a revamped NAFTA, with or without Canada.

Trump, flanked by trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer, adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and a who's who of his inner circle, called the new agreement the most important trade deal the USA has ever made. The new terms, Trump said, will transform the U.S.

The US and Canada were under pressure to reach a deal by the end of the day Sunday, when the US must make public the full text of the agreement with Mexico.

"We will continue to engage with USA and Canadian officials to seek a resolution of the tariffs on aluminum prior to final approval of the new agreement", Rio said in a statement.

But it came at a cost.

Canada gave up some access to its dairy, egg and poultry industries but will keep its agricultural supply management system and avoid punishing auto tariffs under the new deal.

Rather, the new agreement is being widely described as a "NAFTA-minus": a regime not as free as NAFTA had been, particularly in the automotive sector, but still very much in the interests of all three countries - and definitely better than no deal.

"We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood".

"It appears Canadian steel and aluminum workers are among those being sacrificed in the concessions made by the Liberal government in this deal", he said in a statement.

"This has happened, despite assurances that our government would not sign a bad deal for Canadians". Canada will be allowed to export as many as 2.6 million autos before any US tariffs on foreign cars kick in - effectively an exemption. Canada would be allowed to ship 2.6 million cars to the United States without tariffs, well above the 1.8 million it sent a year ago, and send $32.4 billion worth of parts without getting hit by tariffs. It is also well above the 1.8 million cars and SUVs Mexico sent north past year.

Canadian steel. Trump's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum remain in place for now, something Trudeau has called "insulting" since the two countries are longtime allies with similar labor standards. Mexico's incoming foreign relations secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said some new regulations may pose challenges for companies to adapt to.

The news delighted financial markets that had fretted for months about the potential economic damage if NAFTA blew up.

"We had to make compromises, and some were more hard than others", he said.

The Canadian dollar surged to its highest since May against the US dollar, gaining around 0.5 percent.

While Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, said the new deal means that "NAFTA is dead", the USMCA still retains large swaths of the original deal.

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