President Trump touts 'historic' USMCA

02 October, 2018, 22:15 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • PM Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York New York on Sept. 25 2018

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) eliminates unfair trade practices, helps American workers and sends a message to China.

Dr. Andrew Solocha, professor of International Finance at the University of Toledo says, "If they impose a tariff on cars like Trump has proposed, that will mean they have to build their cars here". "Today, I have kept that promise". Some of the areas that are changed actually incorporate elements on North American trade from the TPP, which was negotiated under President Barack Obama.

Ahead of the weekend's talks, several lawmakers had warned that they would not support a deal without Canada.

The agreement, moreover, does not address the steel or aluminum tariffs that the United States placed on its North American neighbors earlier this year.

There was no guarantee that the trade negotiations would turn out this way.

Officials reached a breakthrough on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 11th-hour negotiations Sunday night, calming fears that the trilateral deal could be scrapped when a self-imposed deadline hit hours later.

The comments - combined with Trump's campaign rhetoric - fed into a fear that Trump might disrupt the more than $1 trillion in annual trade that occurs between the three countries. Manufacturers rely on the cross-border supply chains that have been developed in the past two decades. And consumers have benefited from reduced prices.

You won't hear that from Trump though.

"USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region". "While numerous NAFTA's provisions are left intact, there will be changes for all companies".

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Leon Fresco, a former Justice Department official who now represents TN visa holders from Canada and Mexico, called Monday an important day for North American relations, emphasizing that the economies of the three nations are more integrated than many realize.

"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, reduces Trade Barriers to the USA and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world". And the deal will need to be reviewed and renewed before a 16-year period ends, a major concession to Trump's skepticism of free trade deals.

The breakthrough came on Sunday evening as the negotiating parties agreed on key elements of the revised trade agreement, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing a senior source with direct knowledge of the talks. But, as with North Korea, the substance remains largely the same.

President Trump, however, says he is not hopeful the next deal will be approved by Congress in the next year, saying 2020 election politics could hold up passage.

If Democrats regain control of one or both chambers, it could make passage more hard due to political pressure to oppose Trump, even as some Democratic lawmakers have found themselves in agreement with the administration's approach to a number of trade issues throughout the 13-month negotiation.

But achieving the same success elsewhere will be easier said than done.

"If there's something you want", Drury continued, "something on your vehicle that's made in Japan or China, as we go toward electrification and auto-driving, all of these things are new parts - how do you come down on parts?"

The federal government, he said, has a responsibility to "cover the cost" of what's been offered up. "This is a great step forward for our relationship with Mexico and Canada".

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