Senator Brown calls U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade proposal 'good first step'

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Canada, the United States' No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the US and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Hundreds of pages of the agreement released early on Monday contain updated arrangements for Canada's dairy industry and measures aimed at shifting lower-paid auto manufacturing jobs from Mexico. Some countries were granted exemptions, however Mexico and Canada did not make that list. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated by the Obama administration, included the three NAFTA partners - United States, Canada and Mexico - plus Japan and eight other Pacific Rim countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to make Canada pay after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wouldn't be bullied in trade talks.

Contrary to Trudeau's vague assurance that the article has very little effect, Canada is no longer free to seek an agreement with China under the USMCA, he said.

"We appreciate the administration's hard work to reach this trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico-especially regarding measures that ensure North American steel continues to be used in automobile production", Gibson says.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who sought the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, said that while the plan included "some improvements that could be good for USA workers, it lacks enforcement mechanisms that are necessary for these policies to succeed".

President Donald Trump, who blamed NAFTA for the exodus of manufacturing jobs, had threatened to splinter NAFTA unless major changes were made. "To me, it's the most important word in trade".

Previously, Canadians buying online from the US could only purchase up to $20-Cdn. worth before having to pay import duty.

Both Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown praised progress on the agreement but said they will be reviewing the details.

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As lawyers and lobbyists dig deeper into the 34 chapters of the USMCA, problems could arise. The USMCA will replace the 24-year-old NAFTA. But Canadians mostly feel relieved after reaching a new trade agreement with Trump.

Still, on the surface, there were no obvious examples of fundamental harm.

Here's a brief report card on Canada's win and losses.

"The deal is far from flawless, but other, decidedly more negative potential outcomes - such as Canada's exclusion from a revised agreement, a "zombie" NAFTA, and steep tariffs on Canadian auto exports to the US - have likely been avoided", he wrote in an analysis Monday.

"This is a bad outcome for dairy farmers and the whole dairy sector", said the Dairy Farmers of Canada in a statement Monday.

The value of trade certainty was reflected in the loonie, which was nearing 78 US cents, the highest since May.

Jerry Dias, head of labour union Unifor, said the deal's improved country-of-origin provisions and higher wage floors for Mexican factories put the domestic industry on a better footing for growth. This means more American products would be the shelves, potentially depressing demand for Canadian dairy products.

While Trump's goals for revising NAFTA were to shrink United States trade deficits, claw back lost manufacturing jobs and add new IP protections and digital trade chapters, the new pact leaves North American trade flows largely unaltered. But the agreement will now push Canada's current copyright terms, which stood at 50 years past the author's life, to 70 years so that it can fall in line with USA protections.

The agreement will consolidate the North American region "as one of the most competitive in the world", according to the Mexican president on Twitter.

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