Saturday, 20 October, 2018

After US-Mexico trade announcement, Washington businesses wonder about Canada

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act in the R U.S. And Mexico Reach Trade Deal; Trump Wants To Drop NAFTA Name
Kelvin Reese | 29 August, 2018, 00:33

It's a tremendous amount of money and it's a very simple negotiation.

Details of the pact between Mexico and the United States remain confidential since the negotiations continue despite Trump's announcement, but some parts of the plan were revealed.

Gerald Butts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's principal secretary, was seen at the Ottawa airport Tuesday morning, a sign pressure could be mounting for this particular trip. "Both NZ and Australia are far more leveraged to that story and while the PBoC is perhaps taking a more conciliatory tone here, visible progress on trade between the U.S. and China is yet to be seen".

The political stakes are high for all three countries.

Trump announced the agreement from the Oval Office Monday, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto dialed in on a conference call.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland rejoins the year-long talks following a hiatus of several weeks as the United States and Mexico ironed out outstanding bilateral disagreements in the renegotiation of the 24-year-old accord.

The Trudeau government has previously pledged to protect its supply management system, but Canada has opened up limited access to its dairy market in previous trade talks, including its comprehensive pact with the European Union. And since the agreement was signed, trade has exploded between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Speaking about Canada, Mr Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Canadian cars if he does not get what he wants.

In a press release, The White House announced it has secured a preliminary agreement with Mexico that "modernizes and rebalances the trade relationship to reflect the realities of the 21st century". He said he hoped Congress would approve it with broad bipartisan support.

"There are still issues with Canada but I think they could be resolved very quickly", a senior official told Reuters.

Some experts interpreted the administration's signaling about a possible bilateral deal as an attempt to pressure Canada into a swift agreement on revising NAFTA, which the USA administration denied.

Man City held at Wolves, Arsenal off the mark under Emery
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"They recognized that NAFTA is critical for Mexico", said Duncan Wood, the director of the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute.

Another clause would require at least 40 per cent of each vehicle to be made up of components produced by workers earning at least $16 an hour, which is certainly not a problem in any Canadian plant.

Videgaray said in Washington on Monday that scope for making changes with Canada to what the United States and Mexico had agreed was "significantly larger" this week, though he did not rule out alterations after that. Higher labor standards: The new deal would require that 40% to 45% of auto parts in cars sold be made by workers earning at least $16 Dollars per hour.

It would also be a big win for Mr Trump if he could have a deal ready to go before Americans head to the polls. That could even be good news for auto workers in Canada and the U.S. And Mr. Trump said individual trade deals are still on the table.

Some Japanese automakers could face a similar challenge, but their responses on Tuesday were mostly positive.

"We are hopeful that any changes are fair and balanced".

But Trump was eager to portray the agreement as much more than that as the reality TV star-turned-president orchestrated the latest made-for-TV moment of his presidency.

The United States relented on its demand for an automatic expiration for the deal, known as a "sunset clause". If after the review there is no consensus to renew, a review will be conducted every year until disagreements can be worked out and the parties agree to then renew for another 16 years. Currently, about 62% of parts are required to be produced in the United States, Mexico or Canada.

He thinks investors are also keeping in mind what happened in the Canadian market in the second quarter of this year, when it rose more than six percent despite the trade war fears, outperforming most other developed markets.

General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV gained between 3.3 percent and 4.8 percent, while Canadian auto parts makers such as Magna International Inc. gained 4.6 percent.

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