"Now our time is running very short", Lighthizer said at a press conference, standing next to his counterparts from Mexico and Canada. During a read-out of the conversation from Justin Trudeau's office, it was said that "The prime minister also registered his serious concern about the USA administration's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum".
In Mexico, the main USA negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, said that the revision of the pact was slower than expected with only six chapters completed with 30 pending, since the parties began negotiations in August 2017.
President Donald Trump promises more details in a formal announcement within about a week, coinciding with a big congressional election March 13 in the steel-producing state of Pennsylvania. Stocks sank Thursday and Friday after Trump announced plans to slap tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, effectively threatening to wage commercial war on US trading partners from Brasilia to Berlin to Beijing.
Trump also tweeted that steel and aluminum tariffs would only come off if a new NAFTA is signed, suggesting the tariffs might morph into a leverage play to squeeze Canada and Mexico in the trade negotiations. USA chemical exports to Canada and Mexico have grown from $13 billion in 1994 to $44 billion in 2018, the report says. (Canada is the first.) It is the largest market for USA corn.
It is interesting that Mr. Trump's trade rhetoric was once heavily focused on China, but he has not yet followed through on the aggressive trade measures he proposed. It is hard, if not impossible, to link steel and aluminum with dairy, poultry and/or eggs, but the connection exists.
He said if the tariffs on steel and aluminium exports to US are implemented, the Canadian government would have no choice but to withdraw from North American Fair Trade Agreement renegotiations. And when the latest round of talks ended this week in Mexico City, U.S. negotiators signaled they were in a hurry to get an agreement between the three countries in writing, which the Globe and Mail called avoiding "political headwinds later this year".
Also not boding well for future trade talks, Trump is promoting Peter Navarro, a protectionist who sees trade deficits as inherently evil, to presidential assistant.
They're easy targets. Tariff or even non-tariff barriers can make a significant dent in a country's economy nearly instantly, and consumers are often affected the most. He's a veteran trade lawyer, a pro in the field.
There's no point whining about that. Notably, Mr. Trump had won the election in 2016 by promising to put "America First".
Kuehl said the organization continues to stress that "trade is not a zero-sum game". Changes should be made to reflect the modern workforce, complex immigration issues, and the highly integrated nature of the North American economy. "The others are deciding whether they stay or leave, not Mexico". He promises to shut them up. And the Rust Belt is at the center of this export economy, generating 26 percent of export-derived GDP (Figure 1).
In B.C., it's unsure at this point how the proposed US government's 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported into the USA would impact Rio Tinto's BC Works in Kitimat. That makes Mr. Trump's Canada threat a less-than-zero-sum game. But the White House has repeatedly undermined its own legal case, including by intimating that the tariffs would be held over Canada and Mexico as some kind of negotiating tool to extract NAFTA concessions. And inside the United States, powerful interests, including Republican leaders, are trying to get Mr. Trump to pull back. And, economists worry, other countries may retaliate.
A major global trade war in the 1930s had disastrous results as it deepened the Great Depression. The former prime minister spoke at an event for his daughter, Caroline Mulroney.