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

11/15/2018 – Reuters

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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
 

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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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U.S., Mexico, Canada ministers to sign trade pact Nov. 30, official says

11/09/2018 – Reuters

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FILE PHOTO: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Cabinet ministers from the United States, Mexico and Canada will sign a new trade agreement on Nov. 30, Mexico’s economy minister said on Thursday.

The deal will be signed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters at an event in Mexico City. Argentina is hosting the G20 international forum for governments and central bank governors.

It was yet to be determined whether the presidents and prime minister will participate in the signing, Guajardo said.

“What’s clear is that the signing will take place on Nov. 30,” Guajardo said.

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Canada says it has no particular concerns over trade deal after U.S. vote

11/7/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada has no particular concerns over the fate of a new continental trade deal after U.S. elections that gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Some U.S. commentators are already predicting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) pact – agreed in late September – could face problems when the new House convenes in January, given skeptical comments from sections of the Democratic Party about the benefits of the deal.

Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, indicated he was not worried when asked about ratification of the treaty.

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NAFTA 2.0 could draw work back to US, but robots might do it

11/05/2018 – The Mercury News

board-capacitors-chip-159220.jpgBy PAUL WISEMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insists his new North American trade deal will deliver a victory for U.S. factory workers by returning many high-paying jobs to the United States.

Maybe. But a review of the agreement suggests that it could also mean higher prices for consumers and more inefficiencies for businesses. And the biggest winners might end up being robots and the companies that make them.

As Americans vote in the midterm elections, Trump is heralding the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as a triumph for his antagonistic trade policy — an approach that he says will usher in “a new dawn for the American auto industry and the American auto worker.”

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Survey: More North American companies looking within region for growth

11/01/2018 – Politico

business-chairs-company-7070.jpgBy Megan Cassella 

ON TAP TODAY: North American companies are increasingly looking within the region for opportunities for growth, rather than elsewhere around the globe, a new HSBC survey shows. Plus, the Trump administration has unexpectedly rejected all de minimis waivers under the Generalized System of Preferences program and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow offers his thoughts on what might happen when Trump speaks to Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month. Let’s start here:

SURVEY: MORE NORTH AMERICAN COMPANIES LOOKING WITHIN REGION FOR GROWTH: Businesses in the United States, Mexico and Canada are looking more closely at trading opportunities with each other rather than with partners outside of the region, according to a new survey by banking giant HSBC out this morning.

“There’s a real pivot to intra-regional,” Jaron Campbell, HSBC’s U.S. head of international subsidiary banking, told Morning Trade.

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