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Here's The Rundown On NAFTA Ahead Of This Week's Negotiations

16 Agosto 2017, 11:01 | Bibiana Flor

Here's The Rundown On NAFTA Ahead Of This Week's Negotiations

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A glimpse of Trump's tough road ahead can be seen by looking back at a 2015 vote to give former President Barack Obama "trade promotion authority" to finish the 12-nation TPP deal.

During his Presidential campaign, President Trump promised to cancel NAFTA and described the agreement as one of the worst trade deals ever made by the United States.

The CEO of Harry Rosen high-end men's clothing isn't afraid of the new e-commerce world. Under his administration's proposal, buyers in both countries will no longer be imposed import taxes for purchases up to $800, a move that is seen to benefit not only the buyers but also American online retailers that now dominate the e-commerce scene. Canadians who make online purchases past that mark will have to pay a tax.

"I will admit this (schedule is) a little more advanced than what's been done in the past", said the USA official, speaking in a background briefing. It urges Trump's lead bargainer, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to stand fast for "higher wages and the freedom to join together to negotiate for a better life" in all three NAFTA countries.

Negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada will begin Wednesday the formal process of modernizing one of the world's most important trade pacts.


The Trump administration set out its negotiating goals in a July 17 statement and top among them was reducing the trade deficit (small with Canada, large with Mexico).

President Trump is a long-time critic of NAFTA, having argued that the U.S.'s trading partners have gotten the better of the deal. Canada will likewise seek to make the movement of professionals easier. But at the highest levels of the Trudeau government, the NAFTA talks are at the heart of a lot of brainstorming, strategizing and concern.

The US trade balance with Canada is more even, but that trade relationship also has points of tension in some sectors, including dairy, wine and grains.

"That's why the United States and other major dairy exporting nations, including Mexico and Argentina, are so upset with Canada's latest Class 7 pricing scheme that is created to undercut world market prices and unfairly dump Canada's surplus milk at the expense of the United States and other exporters". When the Americans talk about an $11-billion trade deficit with Canada, that's for goods alone, mostly due to energy exports.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Mexican poverty has risen since the deal's implementation in 1994 despite a massive surge of US investment. Coalition for a Prosperous America members are hoping that US negotiators are able to address trade deficit problems. We believe modernization of NAFTA is a reasonable and achievable goal, but it must be done carefully to preserve market access for USA companies. "I suspect that'll be very hard for the U.S.to do".


Canada expects talks to last months.

Still, many concur that the trade deal needs to be modernized.

Economists argue that a free trade agreement is not the place to address a bilateral trade imbalance, and focusing on the deficit could become a key sticking point in the talks, since reducing the USA deficit likely means cutting imports from Mexico or increasing exports.

Chrystia Freeland will push for additional labour and environmental sections when she shares broad strokes today of Canada's goals for the upcoming NAFTA talks.

- Enhance labour and environmental protections in the NAFTA zone. This is an indispensable tool to ensure that other countries treat US investors fairly, do not seize their property without compensation, and do not impose "forced localization" requirements that compel jobs to be shipped overseas.


- "Improved" border infrastructure to facilitate the flow of cross-border goods.



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