Monday, 23 July, 2018

Montana's two senators weigh in on NAFTA talks

Lighthizer Warns Nafta Negotiations May Be One Month Away from Failing In Richmond, ambassadors from Mexico and Canada say NAFTA a success, urge no tariffs on steel
Rita Gibson | 08 March, 2018, 04:35

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expressed dissatisfaction in a news conference, saying there was not as much progress as he had expected. Several hundred people attended the day-long event at the Richmond Marriott hotel in downtown Richmond. It's also the top exporter of steel and aluminum to the U.S. Mark Warner is a trade lawyer based in Toronto, and he joins us now.

For more than two years, US President Trump criticised the agreement and also hinted to take some serious steps being in the administration or at least send some ultimatums.

Canada and Mexico say they should be exempted from such moves, and have warned they could retaliate. The TN program is uncapped and includes nearly none of the USA worker protections Congress has included for certain other temporary worker programs (such as the requirement that employers advertise the position, pay the worker the prevailing wage, and ensure that importing foreign workers will not adversely impact the working conditions of US workers).

"While we acknowledge that there needs to be an update (to NAFTA), we certainly don't think it is in anybody's interest to rip it up", MacNaughton said.

A former USDA trade chief in the Bill Clinton Administration discounts any national security justification by the Trump Administration for the President's announcement Thursday of import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Seventy five per cent of business owners, regardless of the company's size or location, believe NAFTA will impact their decision-making.

The latest round of talks have been clouded, however, by U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to launch metals tariffs.

USA negotiators have proposed changes to the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) agreement concerning the auto industry. We can not take anything for granted until we reach the finish line, but I am optimistic we will have more positive conversations in Mexico City to continue moving the process forward.

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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.

"But I have to work on trade deals, we're working on NAFTA right now and if we're able to make a deal with Canada and Mexico in NAFTA, then there will be no reason to do the tariffs with Canada and Mexico". By participating in these agreements, we can ensure we are writing the rules rather than allowing other world powers to take our place. Hawkish White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggests the exemption would come with a catch.

Thousands of jobs in the sector are at stake, it said in a statement.

South Korea said it would hold a summit with North Korea for the first time in more than a decade, which investors took as a cue to sell the US dollar and buy commodity-linked currencies, which tend to outperform as the outlook for the global economy improves. Simultaneously, the government limits how much foreign milk and dairy products come into the country, slapping excess imports with tariffs of up to 313 percent.

"Less monetary divergence potential has been replaced by higher trade policy and balance-of-payment (BoP) related risks", BofAML said in a report.

"Trying to plan in a vacuum can create some inertia", Elliott says, "The question becomes whether business owners will spend the time and money to learn about and seek out new opportunities".

Trump has repeatedly threatened to dump the treaty, and the tension surrounding steel tariffs has stirred new doubts. I think that this particular round of negotiations ongoing in Mexico City was never meant to be, like, a big round in terms of dealing with the big outstanding issues.

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