Tariff tensions shadow US, Canada, Mexico trade pact signing

11/30/2018 – Washington Post

Photo: Martin Mejia/Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — President Donald Trump teamed up with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact, a deal that fulfills a key political pledge by the American president but faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Congress. The celebratory moment was dimmed by ongoing differences over Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as plans for massive layoffs in the U.S. and Canada by General Motors.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is meant to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has long denigrated as a “disaster.”

Trump appeared with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Group of 20 nations summit in Buenos Aires for the formal signing ceremony. Each country’s legislature must also approve the agreement.

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The Latest: Trump Praises Outgoing Mexican President

11/30/2018 – New York Times

two person doing hand shake
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The Latest on President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is praising Mexico’s outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose government has been a target of Trump’s ire over trade, migration and Trump’s proposed wall on the U.S. southern border.

Trump has railed about factory jobs lost to Mexico and the U.S. trade deficit with its southern neighbor — two hot-button issues that vexed relations with Nieto.

But on Friday, Trump lauded Pena Nieto as a “special man.”

Trump congratulated Pena Nieto on ending his presidency by signing the new agreement governing trade relations among the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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Trump Signs New Trade Deal With Neighbors After Acrimonious Negotiations

11/30/2018 – New York Times

Photo: Tom Brenner for The New York Times

BUENOS AIRES — President Trump and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts sought to put the acrimony of the past two years behind them on Friday as they signed a new agreement governing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade among the neighbors that underpins their economies.

Meeting for the first time since the revised North American Free Trade Agreement was sealed, Mr. Trump, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed the results as a boon for workers, businesses and the environment, even as they alluded to the harsh talks that had preceded this day.

“We worked hard on this agreement,” Mr. Trump said, with the other leaders on other side of him at a ceremony held on the sidelines of an international summit meeting in Buenos Aires. “It’s been long and hard. We’ve taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, and we got there. It’s great for all of our countries.”

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Latin America in flux as G20 leaders descend on the region

11/26/2018 – Washington Post

Natacha Pisarenko, File/Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina had hoped to show off its newly market-friendly economy to the world when the G-20 group of the world’s top economies begins its first South American summit this week. Instead it’s looking for help to avoid an all-out crisis.


The two-day meeting that starts Friday is meant to focus on development, infrastructure and food security, but most of the talk on the sidelines is expected to center on trade disputes between the U.S. and China and the signing of the new North American free trade deal.

Argentina, a darling of Wall Street just a year ago, finds itself hosting the summit while scrambling for international aid to fend off a collapse.

“The original vision for Argentina was to use the G-20 to showcase that it had transformed the economy, and instead it welcomes world leaders to the economic wreckage. So, the timing is inconvenient, to say the least,” said Benjamin Gedan, an Argentina expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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Automaker groups warn U.S. tariffs will undermine new NAFTA deal

11/15/2018 – Reuters

REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. automakers and parts suppliers on Thursday warned that President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs and threatened car tariffs would undermine the benefits of the new deal to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, causing widespread job losses.

At a wide-ranging hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission, labor representatives said the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) fails to include adequate enforcement of labor standards, while Southeastern U.S. fruit and vegetable growers said it leaves them vulnerable to subsidized Mexican competition.

The testimony will feed into a study by the commission on the economic impact of the trade deal reached on Sept. 30, which could heavily influence support for it in the U.S. Congress. A vote on the pact is not expected until the spring of 2019, following a lengthy consultation process.

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Deal or no deal?

11/13/2018 – Politico

boats-cargo-cargo-container-753331By Rebecca Rainey

DEAL OR NO DEAL?: At a Monday event at AFL-CIO headquarters to welcome more than 20 new House members, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D.-Wisc.) said his group had major concerns about the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“While some of the provisions in labor are stronger, the enforcement is non-existent,” Pocan said. “So you can have nice words but [if] there’s no way to enforce them, it doesn’t really do anything.” A House Democratic aide stressed “there’s a ton of scrutiny and analysis still to be done” on the new agreement, so it’s too early to say how party leaders will respond when Trump submits the agreement to Congress for a vote. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will insist that the labor and environmental provisions are actually enforceable, the aide said.

But Pelosi said last week that “Mexico has to pass a law about labor rights in Mexico, so that has not happened yet and that is a predicate of this agreement,” according to the New York Times. “Most important of all are the enforcement provisions in terms of labor and the environment. Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement.”

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Progressive Democrats wary of new NAFTA deal

11/13/2018 – Politico


By Sabrina Rodriguez

ON TAP TODAY: The Congressional Progressive Caucus raised concerns about the new North American trade pact. It’s unclear if those Democrats will try to sink the pact, but we do know USMCA will need at least 10 Democratic votes to win approval. Plus, the Trump administration is getting closer to a verdict on auto tariffs. Let’s start here:

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS WARY OF NEW NAFTA DEAL: Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were at the forefront of the intense but ultimately unsuccessful fight to defeat trade promotion authority in 2015. They had more success in helping prevent the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact from even getting a vote. Now, the group is flagging concerns about the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“While some of the provisions in labor are stronger, the enforcement is non-existent,” caucus co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan said at an event Monday at AFL-CIO headquarters. “So you can have nice words but [if] there’s no way to enforce them, it doesn’t really do anything.”


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