Mexico steps up pressure on U.S. Congress to approve trade deal

Aerial view of cargo trucks lining up to cross to the United States near the US-Mexico border at Otay Mesa crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on April 4, 2019. – US President Donald Trump is expected to visit a section of the border fence in Calexico during his tour to California on Friday. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP) (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)

11/25/19 – Reuters

By Dave Graham and David Shepardson

Mexico’s government on Monday ramped up pressure on Democratic lawmakers to approve a new North American trade deal, urging U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to push it through Congress and rejecting demands for greater labor market oversight.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would this week send another letter to Pelosi, a Democrat, pressing for the ratification of the three-nation deal agreed last year known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM’s engines

automobile car drive grass
Photo by Mike on

11/18/19 – Reuters

By Nick Carey

Long before the pistons for General Motors Co V-6 engines reach the U.S. No. 1 automaker’s Romulus, Michigan plant, they are seasoned international travelers.

Powdered aluminum from Tennessee is shipped to Pennsylvania and forged at high temperatures into connecting rods for the pistons, which are then sent to Canada to be shaped and polished. They are then shipped to Mexico for sub-assembly and finally the finished pistons are loaded onto trucks bound for Romulus to become part of a GM V-6 engine.

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary says hopes U.S. will ratify new North American trade deal by summer

2/21/2019 – Reuters

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday that he hopes the United States will ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal known as USMCA by summer, after Congress has a chance to understand the accord’s provisions.

“I would hope, certainly… I am always optimistic… by summer,” he said at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual forum in response to a question about when USMCA would be ratified. “It’s never over till it’s over, with any legislation.”

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The new NAFTA isn’t done yet

10/10/2018 – Politico 

asian-builder-china-33266The newly drafted trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada still has multiple details that need to be worked out and includes a provision aimed directly at China that has angered leadership in Beijing.

On the latest POLITICO Money podcast, POLITICO Pro Canada’s Alexander Panetta breaks down exactly what is in the revamped NAFTA deal, known as the “U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement,” and the legislative and political challenges it still faces.

South China Morning Post U.S. correspondent Owen Churchill also explains how Beijing is reacting to the USMCA and where the trade war between the U.S. and China is headed next.

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How Mexico and Canada saved NAFTA

By Ernesto Zedillo
10/09/2018 – Politico 

downloadBack in July, it would have been impossible to predict that the talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would end as they did, first with a deal with Mexico on Aug. 27 and then with Canada on Sept. 30. Practically up until those dates, the United States had made outlandish demands, and while we will probably never know what motivated it to move away from its most recalcitrant positions, the important fact is that it did. Mexico and Canada did not cave to the U.S. government’s pretensions and preserved most of the important features of the old deal while the United States backed down.

Many of the U.S. trade representatives’ demands were so unreasonable that it gave credence to the idea that what the U.S. government really wanted was to get a deal that, far from promoting, would destroy trade and investment among its NAFTA partners. Yet, the Mexican and Canadian negotiators repeatedly expressed firmly and credibly that they would rather take the unilateral termination of NAFTA by the United States than sign an agreement that would have the same practical consequence.

Take, for example, the insistence on a sunset clause that would automatically end the new trade agreement every five years unless the three governments agreed otherwise. It was a feature that would have precluded the certainty for investors that these deals are supposed to provide. The negotiators settled for a rather convoluted formula, but one that at least avoids the sudden death of the agreement and makes certain it has an extended life.

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How Trump got to yes on NAFTA

10/02/2018 – Politico 

31963023360_f7286ca671_k.jpgOfficials in Washington, Ottawa and Mexico City on Monday may have been wearing broad smiles and singing each other’s praises as they announced the completion of a NAFTA revamp — but it wasn’t always clear over the past 14 months of negotiations that a long-sought deal would ever come together.

Instead, it took several negotiating rounds, months of shouting sessions and clashes over everything from auto production rules to world history before the three sides wrapped up what the Trump administration is now calling the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

A particularly tense point came during talks last fall, when U.S. officials grew angry with their Canadian counterparts for media leaks as they watched their proposals go from the negotiating table to the internet. “We could literally see them (leaking),” one American official later observed.

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AP Explains: How NAFTA 2.0 will shake up business as usual

10/02/2018 – The Washington Post 

bag-bags-bargain-5956.jpgAmerican dairy farmers get more access to the Canadian market. U.S. drug companies can fend off generic competition for a few more years. Automakers are under pressure to build more cars where workers earn decent wages.

The North American trade agreement hammered out late Sunday between the United States and Canada, following an earlier U.S.-Mexico deal, shakes up — but likely won’t revolutionize — the way businesses operate within the three-country trade bloc.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which tore down trade barriers between the three countries. But NAFTA encouraged factories to move to Mexico to take advantage of low-wage labor in what President Donald Trump called a job-killing “disaster” for the United States.

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Trump Team and Canada Officials Resume Talks to Revamp NAFTA

9/5/2018 – The New York Times

Trump Peace

Trump administration officials and Canadian negotiators are resuming talks to try to keep Canada in a North American trade bloc with the United States and Mexico.

“We are looking forward to constructive conversations today,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters as she entered a meeting with U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer.

Last week, the United States and Mexico reached a preliminary agreement to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. But those talks excluded Canada, the third NAFTA country.

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D.C. Circuit rules for U.S. firm over Mexican paleta maker in trademark case

08/10/18 Reuters

Image result for paletas Photo: John Kernick

A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that Paleteria La Michoacana Inc (PLM), a U.S. maker of Mexican-style popsicles called paletas, did not violate the trademark rights of a company that used the same brand in Mexico.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a judgment that California-based PLM could sell paletas under the brand name “La Michoacana,” rejecting Lanham Act false association and false advertising claims brought by Mexico’s Productos Lacteos Tocumbo SA (Prolacto).

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As NAFTA Talks Restart, Canada and Mexico are Unfazed by Trump’s Threats

8/31/2017 Foreign Policy

The second round of talks for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement is set to start Friday in Mexico. Since the conclusion of the first round, U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the trade agreement. How, then, are U.S. neighbors dealing with the impending round two?

Just fine.

For one thing, while public opinion in the United States toward NAFTA is split, Canadians and Mexicans are in general agreement that the deal is good for their countries.

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