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Malcolm

NAFTA DEAD NOW WE HAVE THE USMCA

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Canada, U.S. have reached a NAFTA deal — now called the USMCA

After more than a year of fractious negotiations, Canada and the U.S. have reached a tentative new North American Free Trade Agreement. Leaving a late-night special cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said only that it was "a good day for Canada."

Trudeau says it's 'a good day for Canada,' but does not elaborate

John Paul Tasker, Elise von Scheel · CBC News · Posted: Sep 30, 2018 12:40 PM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago
2261 comments

Canada and the U.S. have announced a tentative new trilateral trade deal with Mexico that includes some key concessions on issues of import to both countries — and also a reworked name: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

"USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region," Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a joint statement released late Sunday.

nafta-talks-20180930.jpgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council after an agreement was reached in the NAFTA negotiations in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
 

"It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home," the statement said. "We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force."

After 14 months of intensive and often fractious negotiations between the two countries, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened a late-night meeting of cabinet to brief ministers because a deal had been reached only hours before a U.S.-imposed midnight deadline.

'A good day for Canada'

Leaving the meeting about an hour and 15 minutes after it began, Trudeau said only that it was "a good day for Canada" and that he'd have more to say to reporters on Monday.

In a background briefing with reporters, a senior Trump administration official heralded the USMCA as a win for all three countries.

"This is a big win for the U.S., Mexico and for Canada and it fulfils one of the president's most important campaign promises," a senior Trump administration official said. "We think this is a fantastic agreement. It's a great win for the president and a validation of his strategy in the area of international trade."

At the heart of the deal is a trade-off between greater U.S. access to Canada's dairy market, which is heavily protected by a system of supply management, and Canadian demands for the maintenance of a dispute resolution process.

The two sides have agreed to keep Chapter 19, NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanism, intact. That's a major victory for Canadian negotiators who have long sought to keep some sort of process to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing-duty cases — which Canada has deployed in the past over the softwood lumber file.

Chapter 19 preserved word for word

Chapter 19 will be preserved word for word, though it will be renumbered in the new agreement, U.S. officials said Sunday.

Lighthizer has steadfastly opposed this chapter, as he believes it's a violation of U.S. sovereignty to have a multinational panel of arbiters decide on the acceptability of U.S. tariffs.

A Trump administration official deflected Sunday when asked if preserving Chapter 19 was a win for Canada. "From our perspective we think there's really, really great things in this agreement. We're excited about those parts of it," the official said.

(Chapter 11, however, will be phased out between the U.S. and Canada, Trump officials said. This chapter, which outlines the investor-state dispute settlement, allowed corporations to sue governments at special tribunals for interfering in their business.)

In exchange for some U.S. concessions on a dispute mechanism, Canada is expected to give U.S. farmers greater access to Canada's dairy market by increasing the quota on foreign imports.

Under the current supply management system, Canada imposes tariffs on dairy imports — which can run as high as 300 per cent — that exceed the established quota. Trump has railed against these tariffs as unfair to American farmers, as they are designed to keep foreign products out while privileging Canadian sources.

Dairy concessions could be politically challenging

Some of what Canada has agreed to could be politically challenging for the Liberal government, especially in Quebec, where dairy farmers hold electoral sway in certain ridings.

Under the new NAFTA, the U.S. will have roughly the same access to the Canadian dairy market as what was given up by Trudeau when he signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal with 10 Asia-Pacific countries earlier this year.

Under that agreement, those 10 countries will have market access that equals 3.25 per cent of Canada's annual milk production. The exact percentage extended to U.S. dairy exporters was not immediately clear — but it will be marginally higher than that 3.25 per cent now open to Asian countries.

"We've achieved levels of market access, from the perspective of the U.S., that are a better deal than what the prior administration negotiated in TPP," a Trump administration official said of what former U.S. president Barack Obama squeezed out of the Canadians on the dairy front.

Trump officials say dairy changes major breakthrough

But, perhaps most importantly for dairy producers, Canada has agreed to end what's called class 7 pricing, a milk class created in March 2017 that slashed prices on some Canadian-produced milk ingredients — like protein concentrates, skim milk and whole milk powder — used to make cheese and yogurt. The co-ordinated price cut made the American equivalents uncompetitive.

Trump administration officials pounced on this change Sunday, touting it as a major breakthrough for American farmers, especially in Wisconsin and New York, where dairy farmers are eager to offload some of their product on Canada as they grapple with severe oversupply.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, shown in January, released a joint statement late Sunday. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

"On the dairy issue, we have a great result for our dairy farmers ... and this was one of the president's key objectives," the Trump administration official said. "Canada has agreed to eliminate the class 7 milk pricing system, which is something that was very problematic."

At the outset of the NAFTA talks, the U.S. demanded Canada dismantle supply management entirely — something that Trudeau has always maintained was a non-starter. Its preservation, save for a few tweaks, will be pitched as a success story by the governing Liberals.

Steel and aluminum imports still an open question

Canada is also expected to sign on to this new NAFTA without any reassurances that the U.S. will lift its so-called "section 232" tariffs on steel and aluminum imports — a coup for the economic nationalists that surround Trump who believe that protectionist measures like these punitive tariffs can help salvage the declining U.S. steel industry.

"There isn't any agreement on that at this point," a Trump administration official said. "There's been talk about potential discussions there, but that's on a completely separate track."

nafta-talks-20180930.jpgMilk is pictured at a grocery store in North Vancouver late last month. At the outset of the NAFTA talks, the U.S. demanded Canada dismantle supply management entirely — something that Trudeau has always maintained was a non-starter. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Canadian sources told CBC News they hope to resolve the 232 issue before ratifying NAFTA.

Those tariffs were levied on "national security" grounds using presidential authority granted under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which gives the president broad powers to impose tariffs without consulting Congress. Canada responded to Trump's move with counter-tariffs on billions of dollars worth of U.S. goods.

While technically separate from NAFTA talks, the U.S. has used the threat of further 232 tariffs on autos to extract concessions from Canada and Mexico — a frightening proposition for the Canadians.

No hard limit on auto exports

Importantly for Canadian negotiators, Trump has agreed that no hard limit will be placed on Canadian auto exports to the U.S.

That said, should the U.S. move forward with the imposition of worldwide 232 tariffs on autos, they would also apply to Canada.

However, Ottawa has negotiated what is effectively an exemption, as it would still be able to export cars and parts tariff-free up to a certain amount that is well above what Canada sends south of the border.

Sources could not immediately confirm the exact number of cars or parts that would be allowable, but U.S. officials said there has been an "accommodation" reached.

U.S.-Mexico deal came first

Last month, Trump announced his negotiators had reached a bilateral deal with Mexico.

The Canadians have already said they are pleased with what the U.S. had negotiated bilaterally with Mexico on changes to "rules of origin" around autos, championing the changes as good for middle-class workers on both sides of the border.

The revised USMCA deal will require 75 per cent of auto content to be made in North America, up from 62.5 per cent under the current NAFTA.

It would also require 40-45 per cent of auto content made in Mexico to be made by workers earning at least $16 US an hour, placating unions in Canada and the U.S. concerned about high-paying jobs moving to Mexico's low-wage economy.

According to the U.S. Trade Representative, Canada ships more than $56 billion US worth of autos — cars and parts alike — to the U.S. each year. The auto industry employs more than 120,000 people in Canada, with most of those jobs concentrated in southwestern Ontario.

Canada has also secured exemptions for its creative industries.

The existing NAFTA deal includes a cultural exemption clause, which means cultural goods are not treated like other commercial products — and that will continue under the new terms of the agreement. Lighthizer has previously cited Canada's broadcasting content and telecommunication ownership rules as an irritant.

Deal to be sent to Congress

U.S. negotiators have been gunning for a new NAFTA by month's end to get a text of the agreement to Congress for its mandatory 60-day review period. That could allow for a deal to be signed before Dec 1., when Mexico's new, left-leaning president takes office.

Under U.S. law, while Congress can extend fast-track negotiating authority to Trump administration officials — as it has with NAFTA — legislators retain the right to review any proposed trade agreement and decide whether it will be implemented. That relationship is governed by a set of strict, legislated timelines that allow Congress enough time to study a deal before delivering a decision.

 

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“ Our Libby toy poodle (a show dog) meets the brawny american pit bull terrier (infamous pit fighter) National Bank admits that the trade deal represents “the short end of the stick” for Canada, but there was no other way it was going to go,
“While Canada seems to have gotten the short end of the stick, the outcome should not be surprising. With 75% of Canada’s exports going to the U.S. and less than 20% of U.S. exports coming to Canada, it was clear from the outset who stood to lose the most from trade barriers. But a deal is better than none … Firms may be reluctant to invest or expand operations considering market access to the U.S. could potentially be cut off in the future. But six years is a long time and it’s always possible Canada gets a better deal from a friendlier White House after the 2024 U.S. Presidential elections.”

 

 

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“ The most high-profile Canadian concession, conceding a piece of the protected dairy market to U.S. imports, might cost Mr. Trudeau politically with well-organized farmers – but he was able to put it off until Quebec’s political leaders had little time to make it a major issue in Monday’s provincial election.”

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-canada-made-concessions-on-nafta-but-without-major-damage-to-economy/

 

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USMCA: A trade deal that does no harm, but breaks no ground

Kevin Carmichael: Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland achieved none of the things they identified as Canadian goals with the new pact.

The romantics who think international commerce works best when bureaucrats determine trade flows will be pleased. 

Canada’s new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA — is a step back to the time when doing business with America meant limiting your exports, no matter how badly Americans themselves might want them. 

Perhaps the biggest cost of securing commercial peace with President Donald Trump was sacrificing Canada’s commitment to freer trade, a pillar of this country’s economic policy for at least three decades, albeit one championed hypocritically on occasion. 

The USMCA, assuming the new Congress in 2019 is of a mind to work with the Trump administration, will limit the number of cars and the value of automobile parts that Canada can ship to the United States without paying higher duties. 

It will force Canada and Mexico to respect the excessively long patents the U.S. gives to its pharmaceutical companies. The agreement opens the door for one party (Washington) to influence trade talks another party (Ottawa, Mexico City) have with a “non-market economy,” such as China. The new terms might even force the Bank of Canada and the Bank of Mexico to keep an eye on Washington as they set monetary policy, thanks to the introduction of a committee that will review the conduct of macroeconomic policy in the three countries. 

Judging by the initial reaction, a setback for freer trade on the continent will be judged a “win” for all involved: Trump gets his first “major” trade deal just in time for the midterm elections; Mexico’s outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, will leave office with significant accomplishment of his own, and the president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will avoid beginning his term on Dec. 1 with the headache of a trilateral trade negotiation; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be able to say that he successfully defended his country from an economic calamity. 

To be sure, Trudeau will have to explain why the completion of the USMCA late on Sept. 30 was a “good day for Canada.” He and Chrystia Freeland, the global affairs minister and lead negotiator in the talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, achieved none of the things they identified as Canadian goals, such as making it easier for professionals to work in the U.S. and Mexico. 

Instead, their “wins” came on defence, accepting some minor blows to keep the basic infrastructure of Canada’s trading arrangement with the U.S. in place; key to the Trudeau government’s larger goal of positioning itself as a global trading hub with preferential access to the world’s largest economy, the European Union through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and Asia via the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Most important was fighting off the Trump administration’s attempt to raze NAFTA’s dispute-settlement chapter, an imperfect shield from Washington’s liberal use of punitive tariffs, but a shield all the same.

Dairy farmers and their political allies will be displeased with the Trudeau government’s decision to let more American milk pass through the tariff wall that protects the supply-management system. Some retailers may dislike the big increase in the amount of goods Canadians can bring home from the U.S. without paying duties. The new chapter on financial services suggests Canada’s banks will be unable to rely on government policy to shield them from competitive attack from upstarts who use technology to facilitate lending, saving and trading. 

As lawyers and lobbyists dig deeper into the 34 chapters of the USMCA, problems could arise. Jim Balsillie, the former co-chief of Research in Motion, said NAFTA might have a new name, but retains the same old flaws. “Provisions in this new agreement raise [Intellectual Property] protections so that pre-existing IP owners, who are predominantly American, can entrench and extend their monopoly rights and rents for decades to come,” he said in a statement.

Still, on the surface, there were no obvious examples of fundamental harm. The limits on automobile exports remove the threat of future duties, and appear to be set at a level that Canada would struggle to reach anyway. It was inevitable that American dairy farmers would get improved access to the Canadian market because the Trudeau government accepted similar provisions to secure a trade agreement with the EU and the other 10 members of the TPP. (Trudeau also promised that dairy farmers would be compensated for any losses.) More optimistic retailers will note that Canadian shoppers still will be expected to pay sales taxes on most of the purchases they make within their new duty-free threshold. 

The value of trade certainty was reflected in the loonie, which was nearing 78 U.S. cents, the highest since May. Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said his group was “delighted” by the apparent deal. “This step forward comes as a relief for our members have been searching for much-needed clarity and predictability in the relationship with our (North American) partners,” he said in a statement. Rona Ambrose, the former Conservative cabinet minister who advised the government on the NAFTA talks, tweeted that the revised agreement would “ease investor anxiety” and “reassure the world that North America remains committed to free trade.” 

Ambrose’s sentiment is right, but she makes the mistake of equating low duty rates with “free trade.” In fact, the USMC shows the U.S. is bent on dictating the terms of commerce, and smaller partners can either go along or be subject to years of harassment and abuse. 

Trudeau did well to avoid a major disruption in trade rules that would have hurt investment and further monopolized the time of the trade professionals at Global Affairs Canada. The latter is important, because if Trudeau is serious about freer trade, he will need those men and women to pursue that goal somewhere other than North America. 

https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/usmca-a-trade-deal-that-does-no-harm-but-breaks-no-ground

 

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Trudeau's claim of victory in trade deal is hollow - Canada was played

We are now in a new era of managed trade, where the U.S. has the ability to cap Canada’s growth

 

Today is a great day for Canada,” Justin Trudeau proclaimed, sounding like King Pyrrhus of Epirus, just after he lost the bulk of his army in battle against the Romans.

As with Pyrrhus, another victory like today and we will be utterly ruined.

Trudeau claimed the trade deal signed with the Americans and the Mexicans will prove good for workers, businesses and families – that it removes uncertainty for manufacturers and improves labour rights across North America.

He’s right that the unpredictability of the situation has been eased and the threat of punishing auto tariffs removed – for now.

The widespread sense of relief, if it endures, could help propel him back into power next year.

But to trumpet the agreement as the result of some kind of grand strategic vision – “we are on the right track and we didn’t get here by accident” – is to fundamentally misrepresent what has just happened.

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/john-ivison-trudeaus-claim-of-victory-in-trade-deal-is-hollow-canada-was-played

 

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The 'great day for Canada' line the dancing fool refers to can be taken a number of ways.

First, it's good for the Country that we got through the process without the influence of the elected children causing too much damage.

Second, there doesn't appear to be any reference whatsoever to the liberal sjw demands (lol).

 

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Now with the drama of the deal done, time to move forward.

Good move by Bezos to raise minimum wage to $15/hr for all 350,000 Amazon workers.  This is a move that will put real money into real peoples pockets and, in my opinion, do more good for the American economy than any tax cut.

Hopefully we can get that kind of leadership in Canada to make a positive move.

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/2/17927686/amazon-raises-minimum-wage-workers

Edited by deicer

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It’s time for a fresh look at Energy East

Derek Burney was Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1993. He led the Canadian delegation in concluding negotiations of the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement. 

To counter both unpredictable U.S. moves against Canada on trade, and the zany spat with Saudi Arabia, a strategic option for the government of Justin Trudeau would be to assert its authority over interprovincial pipelines and initiate a “fast track” regulatory review of the Energy East pipeline.

The initial project proposal – a 4,500-kilometre pipeline that would carry 1.1 million barrels a day of Western Canadian crude oil to refineries in Eastern Canada – was stymied by regulatory overkill and tepid political support in Ottawa, Ontario and Quebec. But the dynamics on several of these fronts are changing and, with a Speech from the Throne contemplated this fall, there is an opportunity to change tack.

 

The political mood in Ontario has already shifted as a result of the recent Progressive Conservative election victory. The provincial election in Quebec later this year could result in a more receptive mood for a $15-billion infrastructure project funded exclusively by the private sector.

Despite their noble intent, the goals endorsed by the Paris Accord on Climate Change have become somewhat illusory over time. The United States has opted out and commitments by India and China – the next two most prominent polluters – are more distant than apparent. Canada’s pledge is minuscule in the global scheme of things (affecting less than 2 per cent of global emissions) and is, in any event, becoming more aspirational than real.

 

Furthermore, and despite consistent emphasis on renewables – such as solar and wind power – global demand for fossil fuels as a source of energy is expected to increase until 2040 and beyond, constituting roughly 80 per cent of the total. Cold, winter countries such as Canada will continue to rely on consistent supplies of oil and gas to heat their homes and industries.

Alternative sources of energy will grow alongside, but not instead of, fossil fuels. It is not a case of either/or. Furthermore, pipelines generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than transmission by rail cars or tanker trucks.

Evidence to date suggests that neither carbon taxes nor cap-and-trade schemes do much to curtail emissions. For one thing, they do not alter consumer behaviour. As Philip Cross, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute wrote, “small carbon taxes are not a serious proposal to curb emissions, but the equivalent of buying a papal indulgence to alleviate our collective conscience.” In short, “feel good” policy. And even higher taxes are rarely palatable.

Regulations on fuel standards and on energy consumption, along with incentives for innovative technologies, are demonstrably more effective – a prime example being the development by Rio Tinto and Alcoa of a process to produce aluminum with zero emissions. Oil sands companies and other industries are moving successfully in a similar direction because it makes economic sense for them to do so.

It is not a question of climate-change denial. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of what works and what does not work. That reality check is coming home to roost as politicians grapple with explanations of policies that voters will endorse, as opposed to cost-free sentiments that can be more universally endorsed.

 

 

 

Over and above the stimulus in terms of jobs and spending that a $15-billion private-sector investment would bring to all regions of Canada, a successful relaunch of Energy East would:

  • Reduce our dependence on foreign oil, notably from Saudi Arabia (imports of 75,000–80,000 barrels a day);
  • Open Canadian supply to the increasing demand of global markets, which in turn would reduce, if not eliminate, the 30-per-cent discount we are obliged to accept for our oil when we rely on a single market for export, and;
  • Most importantly, because of the “America First" protectionist practices being pursued by our neighbour and erstwhile economic partner, Energy East would provide the means for Canada to better ensure its own economic destiny.

There is no guarantee the company that initially sponsored Energy East (TransCanada Corp.) would be willing to revisit the project, nor is there any assurance the original list of potential shippers will reinstate their commitments, but the latest U.S. legal setback on the Keystone XL project could prompt some new thinking. The opportunity to give new life to Energy East is at least worth exploring and, unlike nationalization, it would not require one nickel of taxpayer funds. Resuscitation would be an act of bold, visionary leadership, one that would serve our national interest. It would give Canada the key element of a truly transcontinental pipeline and be as much in the national interest as transcontinental railways were more than a century ago.

Governments are remembered best for getting big things right. It is ultimately a matter of choice and political will.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-its-time-for-a-fresh-look-at-energy-east/

 

 

 
 

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"Good move by Bezos to raise minimum wage to $15/hr for all 350,000 Amazon workers.  This is a move that will put real money into real peoples pockets and, in my opinion, do more good for the American economy than any tax cut."

Bezos acted out of corporate necessity.

Not to interfere with the fantasy you're living and I would never pretend to an economist or anything close, but anyone with a lick of horse sense knows none of Bezos gestures would be remotely possible without the atmosphere the President's economic plan has created.

I dare you to come out of the dark and find truth Deicer; take a moment to actually read the two plus year old Presidential plan and the economic predictions that came with it instead of regurgitating all the unsubstantiated left wing propaganda you jump at.

By analogy, when it comes to left wing nonsense you're a bit like the moth and its perception of the light.

And just in case honest research isn't on for you, before you post your next link to some sort of new age journalistic fiction, consider the fact that today's real world US jobless rate is so low employers are being forced to compete for low wage / benefit employees and their loyalty, a process that sure didn't begin as a result of any policy introduced during the obama era.

I laugh every time I recall President obama's sarcastic response to then candidate Trump's economic plan & growth predictions that went something like; 'and how exactly would he go about achieving that'.

And here we are.   

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, deicer said:

This may surprise you but lots of folks from the Lower Mainland drive into Washington state to buy Gas, Milk Eggs etc today and I have yet to hear of any adverse health issues caused by the items they purchase nor have I ever heard anyone complain about how the US dairy industry is subsidized, just the same as those who look for cheap air travel just across the border.  I guess in the end , only $$$$$ count.     Go Figure. 

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Good morning Malcolm

It isn't an issue about health effects for me, it is economic effects.

It is the Canadian farming industry that will disappear because our level of subsidy cannot come close to what the American farmers have.

Now that the barriers are coming down, real damage is going to be experienced by rural Canada.

 

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You can thank trudeau et al for their super childish approach to international trade negotiations..

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"Now that the barriers are coming down, real damage is going to be experienced by rural Canada."

 

The barriers you mention are largely protecting the interests of the corporatocracy you despise.

The family farm has mostly become a thing of the past.

Where 100 acres in southern Ontario once supported a man and his often large family, the land won't generate enough income today to even support a single guy.

And with the price of arable land commanding as much as 25K an acre, who could blame the little guy for selling out to the only entity that can afford the price, the major agricultural corporations.

Big agriculture now uses the vast tracks of land they own to grow and then write off the resulting production losses against the profits generated elsewhere in the outfit.   

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How Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner helped salvage North American trade

'The deal fell apart more than once. And in every occasion it was one person that always found a way to put it back together: Jared Kushner'

OTTAWA/WASHINGTON — Robert Lighthizer was the public face of arduous, year-long talks to rework NAFTA, but as he savoured a successful conclusion in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, the U.S. trade representative singled out another man as the deal’s architect.

“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, this agreement would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jared,” Lighthizer told reporters.

The 70-year-old veteran negotiator was referring to Jared Kushner, more than 30 years his junior and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, whom the president had asked to help out on trade early in the presidency, especially on Canada and Mexico.

While Kushner’s time in the White House has been turbulent — Chief of Staff John Kelly temporarily stripped him of his security clearance this year and he has been criticized for his dealings with the Middle East — his role in keeping the North American Trade Agreement afloat was fundamental, multiple sources said.

Kushner’s help in the North American trade deal could pay dividends down the road.

He has developed a good relationship with the Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said a source familiar with the situation. That may be useful when Trump moves to cool his trade war with China.

The Trump administration slapped tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods last month and is threatening duties on virtually all of the goods China exports to the United States. On Monday, flanked by Lighthizer and Kushner in the Rose Garden, the president said “it’s too early to talk” to China.

Kushner, who has built ties to Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman and planned Trump’s trip there in May 2017, is also playing a lead role in developing an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that has yet to be unveiled.

Kushner’s help in the North American trade deal could pay dividends down the road.

He has developed a good relationship with the Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said a source familiar with the situation. That may be useful when Trump moves to cool his trade war with China.

The Trump administration slapped tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods last month and is threatening duties on virtually all of the goods China exports to the United States. On Monday, flanked by Lighthizer and Kushner in the Rose Garden, the president said “it’s too early to talk” to China.

Kushner, who has built ties to Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman and planned Trump’s trip there in May 2017, is also playing a lead role in developing an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that has yet to be unveiled.

TOXIC MOOD

From early on in the negotiations, two of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted advisers — chief of staff Katie Telford and private secretary Gerald Butts — also forged ties with Kushner, Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said in a telephone interview. Yussuff was part of the NAFTA advisory council for Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s lead negotiator in the talks and the country’s foreign minister.

A second Canadian source said Telford and Butts flew to Washington to meet Kushner in the early days of the presidency.

Those connections came to the fore again last week, when the mood became toxic between Lighthizer and Freeland, as the U.S.-imposed Sept. 30 deadline to conclude the talks loomed.

A third Canadian source directly familiar with the talks said the Americans “were incensed” when Freeland took part in a Toronto panel entitled “Taking on the Tyrant,” which featured derogatory comments about Trump, following an earlier speech criticizing U.S. trade policy.

 

 

https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/how-donald-trumps-son-in-law-jared-kushner-helped-salvage-north-american-trade

 

 

 

Edited by Jaydee

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On 10/2/2018 at 1:17 PM, deicer said:

 

Good move by Bezos to raise minimum wage to $15/hr for all 350,000 Amazon workers.  This is a move that will put real money into real peoples pockets and, in my opinion, do more good for the American economy than any tax cut.

Hopefully we can get that kind of leadership in Canada to make a positive move.

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/2/17927686/amazon-raises-minimum-wage-workers

Nothing in this world is free....

 

Amazon eliminating bonuses, stock awards after raising minimum wage.

“ Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.O) is eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers and other hourly employees after the company pledged this week to raise pay to at least US$15 an hour.

Warehouse workers for the e-commerce giant in the U.S. were eligible in the past for monthly bonuses that could total hundreds of dollars per month as well as stock awards, said two people familiar with Amazon’s pay policies. The company informed those employees Wednesday that it’s eliminating both of those compensation categories to help pay for the raises, the people said. “

 

 

http://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/amazon-is-eliminating-bonuses-stock-awards-to-help-pay-for-raises-1.1147010

 

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Personally, I have always preferred steady compensation over bonuses.  You can plan your life better on a steady income over the whims of bonuses.

 

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Bonus remuneration allows a measure of reward for hard work and gives those in lower paying occupations an opportunity shine while making more money. Taking away that incentive and seeking the lowest common denominator stands as an example of where the motivations of socialism go off the rails… human nature gets in the way. Human nature is the biggest single hurdle that socialism faces and the reason it never prevails.  So, simply remove human nature from the equation and you have my complete agreement and support.

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