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NAFTA DEAD NOW WE HAVE THE USMCA


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10 minutes ago, boestar said:

I will stick with the biological constant.  males have a Penis and Females have a vagina.  PERIOD.

Now if two males or two females want to get married.  Cool I have no issue there.

If you are a male that feels like dressing like a female then coll no issue there.  And vice versa of course.

As I stated above washrooms and changerooms should remain PENIS -VAGINA.  

I know that may cause some to flare up but lets just stick with Biology and keep out of the psychology.

 

The problem is Liberals only believe in Science when it suits them...If they couldnt have double standards they would have no standard at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Will Canada cave allow the wording or will the US agree to remove it.  If not removed will Canada refuse to sign?

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Confusion abounds over plans to sign NAFTA's replacement on Friday

As the clock continues to count down to a Friday signing ceremony for the revised North American trade agreement, the Canadian government still has not confirmed its participation.

Dairy organizations fear that unapproved text may stay in deal set to be signed

Janyce McGregor · CBC News · Posted: Nov 29, 2018 3:42 PM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in a forum for the business women leaders taskforce on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina Thursday. His participation in a signing ceremony for the revised North American free trade agreement Friday is not yet confirmed. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
 

As the clock continues to count down to a Friday signing ceremony for the revised North American trade agreement, the Canadian government still has not confirmed that it's actually taking part.

Mexico's chief trade negotiator, Kenneth Smith Ramos, said on Twitter Thursday morning that he was on his way to Buenos Aires, Argentina to participate in a signing ceremony at 9 a.m. tomorrow "in front of the leaders" of the three countries in the agreement.

No official news release has been issued to clarify the timing or the location of this signing ceremony, but Ramos's tweet appears to confirm what Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump's economic adviser, said on Tuesday — that "representatives" from the three NAFTA nations would be signing the deal on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Meeting with reporters to discuss another issue, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said today that it's "always the case" that trade negotiations leave some details to be finalized at the last minute.

"We are very hard at work doing that," she said, adding that the Canadian negotiators would be meeting their U.S. and Mexican counterparts Thursday afternoon.

(Freeland declined — as she has recently — to refer to the new trade pact by the name U.S. President Donald Trump has insisted on giving it: the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Instead, she simply called it the "new NAFTA.")

Freeland said Canada's objective has always been to sign the deal on Friday and her government is "on track to hit that objective," but would not explicitly state that Canada's signature will be on the trade agreement by Saturday morning.

She also wouldn't say which issues are causing last-minute difficulties.

Two national dairy organizations wrote letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday urging him not to sign the deal until discrepancies in the USMCA text have been resolved.

Officials assured posted text not final

What worries the dairy sector is an USMCA annex on agricultural trade. The dairy organizations say it "fundamentally undermines Canadian sovereignty" by granting the Americans "oversight into the administration of our Canadian dairy system." 

The text posted by the United States Trade Representative's office on Oct.1 specifies that Canada must notify the U.S. before it makes any changes to its tariff classifications, and give the U.S. the opportunity to review the change and request more information — a condition which may be commercially sensitive for the sector.

"At a meeting with your key officials following the announcement of the agreement and publication of the U.S. text, Dairy Farmers of Canada was told that the issue of U.S. oversight had not been agreed to by Canada – and would not be part of the final agreement," says the letter signed by DFC President Pierre Lampron and other members of its national board.

"We remain concerned that we have not yet seen a final text with this portion excluded."

"We too met with officials last month and were told that Canada had not agreed to U.S. oversight, and, as such, it would not be included in the final agreement," reads the letter from Mathieu Frigon, the president and CEO of the Dairy Processors Association of Canada. "Reports that Canada is preparing to sign the USMCA later this week is extremely concerning to us."

"Any measures that would provide another country with a say on how Canada governs its domestic dairy system must not be allowed," the letter goes on to state, adding this could "stall innovation, hamper decision making and seriously weaken the competitiveness of Canada's dairy sector at home and abroad."

'Losing best chance' to lift steel tariffs

Katie Ward, the president of the National Farmers Union, also chimed in with a letter on behalf of her organization.

"The fact that the negotiated final text either does not exist or has not been made public is reason enough to cancel the planned signing ceremony," she wrote.

Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the NDP's House leader, demanded in the House of Commons today that the dairy oversight clause be removed before Canada signs the USMCA.

"This clause will have devastating and crippling consequences on our industry here in Canada," she said.

"We made sure that the American attempts to destroy our supply management system did not succeed," Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay replied. "We understand that they had some problems and we're going to make sure that they're fully and fairly supported."

NDP trade critic Tracey Ramsey added that with U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs still in place, signing now would amount to "losing our best chance to eliminate them. The reasons for not signing this deal are stacking up."

As of Thursday afternoon, the signing ceremony did not appear on the itinerary released by the Prime Minister's Office, although that is always subject to change.

 

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14 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Will Canada cave allow the wording or will the US agree to remove it.  If not removed will Canada refuse to sign?

 

Evidently Trudeau Caved re the wording.....

Trudeau, Trump and Pena Nieto sign USMCA

The road to rewrite the North American trade agreement was a "battle", U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joined him for a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

NAFTA trade replacement still needs to be ratified by lawmakers in all 3 countries before taking effect

 
janyce-mcgregor.jpg
Janyce McGregor · CBC News · Posted: Nov 30, 2018 6:37 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 minutes ago
 
trump-argentina-g20-summit.jpg
U.S. President Donald Trump, centre, reaches out to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they prepare to sign the revised North American free trade agreement Friday morning, before the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Martin Mejia/Associated Press)
 

The road to rewrite the North American trade agreement was a "battle", U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joined him for a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Nevertheless, "battles sometimes make great friendships," Trump said as the other two leaders looked on.

Official text for the deal Trump has named the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) has now been signed by all three countries.

Canada will change the order of the countries in its version of the name, putting Canada first (CUSMA.) In remarks at the signing ceremony, Trudeau said this signing lifts the uncertainty that surrounded the acrimonious 15-month negotiation process, an uncertainty that "only would have gotten worse" if the parties had not reached a new agreement.

Both Trump and Trudeau noted that the deal was signed on Pena Nieto's final day in office, thanking him for his work. A new Mexican president was elected last summer and will be sworn in Dec.1.

The agreement to replace NAFTA was signed on outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's final day in office. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be sworn in as Mexico's next president on Saturday. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press)

Earlier story:

The signing followed days of speculation as to whether Canada would sign the USMCA at all, and if it did, whether it would be signed by a more junior official than the prime minister.

One one hand, Canada wanted to register its displeasure at signing a free trade deal when in fact there are tariffs on $48 billion worth of goods traded between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Those tariffs began with U.S. action against imported steel and aluminum, using national security as a justification under an obscure U.S. law from 1962. Canada and Mexico in turn retaliated with tariffs against the US. All those tariffs remain in place as the USMCA is signed, much to the displeasure of both Canadian and Mexican governments.

 

A low-key signing

Both the White House and the Mexican government said openly in the days before the signing ceremony that it would involve the leaders of the three countries.

Only Canada sounded a somewhat sour note, saying there were still difficulties in the text and hinting it was reluctant to have a celebratory signing of a free trade deal marred by tariffs that suggest anything but true free trade.

At the same time, though, Canadian officials insisted that the steel and aluminum tariffs enacted under Section 232 were on a separate track from the main NAFTA negotiation, and one would not affect the other. 

They made it clear they didn't want to celebrate the end of a year of U.S. attempts to twist Canada's arm with the tariffs still in place.

But they also made it clear that Canada saw the conclusion of a deal to salvage NAFTA more or less intact as being more important than any message Canada could send on tariffs.

So Canada's preferred approach would probably have been a low-key signing where ministers, rather than heads of government, put their imprimatur on the accord with the minimum of public fuss.

But that ran up against the political needs of the leaders of the two other countries.

 

A legacy moment 

Perhaps it might have been expected that Trump would want to turn the signing into something of a spectacle.

He's sold the renegotiation of NAFTA to his base of supporters as a huge improvement over the previous deal agreed to in 1992 — and a victory in his campaign to bring back jobs and "Make America Great Again."

It's only to be expected that he wants the photo to prove it, complete with the other two countries signing what he can present as articles of capitulation.

But his Mexican counterpart, Pena Nieto, has sold the deal to his people as a victory for Mexico, saving free trade from a U.S. president who wanted to kill it. Friday is the last day of his six-year term, and on Saturday, he will be replaced by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), a politician who represents Mexico's left, and who has often questioned the value of NAFTA and international trade generally.

It's a safe bet that Pena Nieto wants his legacy to be that of a man who did what had to be done to save NAFTA, the bedrock of Mexico's modern prosperity.

With the leaders of the two other NAFTA partners determined to sign in person, it became difficult for Trudeau to delegate the duty to someone else.

 

Bogged down on dairy

Reaching an accord might have been much easier had it not been for a disagreement over the language about dairy. When the U.S. presented Canada with a draft of what the U.S. understood was agreed on, Canadian officials felt it went too far in giving the U.S. rights to be informed about and object to future changes in the way Canada distinguishes between various classes of dairy product. 

But that is essentially the deal that Canada is signing, to preserve the larger agreement. 

The acceptance of foreign oversight is not a one-way street.

Canada will also have the right to be informed in advance of changes to the way the U.S. regulates tariffs on dairy and sugar. But since Canada imports far more dairy products from the U.S. than the U.S. does from Canada, the burden will fall in practice mostly on Canadian producers, who are already calling foul on the changes to the final text.

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It appears that only the Liberals like the deal, go figure. ? But as a consumer, I don't mind the final product, too bad that "supply management" did not go the way of the dodos. However that being said, Justin is no different than any other politician in that you can not rely on him keeping his promises or indeed listening to those who elected him.   2019 will be a very interesting year. 

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Canadian party leaders, politicians weigh in on the signing of NAFTA 2.0

Canadian politicians weigh in on the sighing of a renegotiated NAFTA agreement in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this morning.

'Free and fair trade leads to more and better-paying middle-class jobs for more people': Trudeau

CBC News · Posted: Nov 30, 2018 6:09 PM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
justin-trudeau.jpg
(Canadian Press)
 
 

Canadian politicians weigh in on the signing of a renegotiated NAFTA agreement in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this morning. 

There's much more work to do in lowering trade barriers and in fostering growth that benefits everyone.  But reaching a new free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico is a major step for our economy. Canadians got here because Team Canada was driven by the interests of the middle class.  Free and fair trade leads to more and better-paying middle-class jobs for more people.  And the benefits of trade must be broadly and fairly shared.  That is what modernizing NAFTA achieves, and that is why it was always so important to get this new agreement done right.

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

andrew-scheer.jpg(Canadian Press)

"The Americans are counting their victories in what they got from Canada and Trudeau is counting his victories in what he didn't have to give away... This deal includes a cap, a limit to what Canadian agricultural producers can sell to other countries. Not the U.S., not to Mexico, but to other countries. That is devastating to our agricultural communities. It's unprecedented for a government, for a prime minister to agree, in order to please the Americans, not to sell to other countries so that they can sell, so that American farmers can fill that market. ... This deal is not better than what we had going into these talks. There's no gains for Canada. It's all concessions, no victories."

— Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

jagmeet-singh.jpg(Canadian Press)

"Trudeau has just sacrificed tens of thousands of good jobs in Canada. He has given in to Donald Trump and given up the last lever Canada had to protect farmers and tens of thousands of workers in Canada's aluminum and steel industries. The Trudeau government promised repeatedly that it would defend Canada's supply management system and fight against Trump's illegal tariffs, but instead he has dealt a devastating blow to supply management and signed away any leverage we had to stop the tariffs."

—NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

gabriel-ste-marie.jpg(Radio-Canada)

"Trudeau lied to dairy producers. He promised them he would never sign an agreement that gave the Americans the right to decide how we organize our production. He signed that agreement this morning. He promised that he'd never let Donald Trump stop our producers from selling their surpluses on the global market. He did that. The Liberals' word means nothing."

—Bloc Quebecois international trade critic Gabriel Ste-Marie

 

 

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From another POV but note in the picture Justin is clapping but not holding up his copy.  I wonder why?  Maybe he didn't get one? ?

USMCA, the new trade deal between the US, Canada, and Mexico, explained

The three countries signed the deal at the G20 on Friday.

By Jen Kirby jen.kirby@vox.com Nov 30, 2018, 5:00pm EST   Tweet   Share 
ShareUSMCA, the new trade deal between the US, Canada, and Mexico,     Email
 

AP_18334483871272.0.jpgThe US, Mexico, and Canada sign the revised NAFTA. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Say goodbye to NAFTA — and hello to USMCA.

The US, Canada, and Mexico officially signed a new trilateral trade deal on Friday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. It’s known as the USMCA, or the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. (At least in the United States.)

While on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump had promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he called the “worst trade deal ever.” After more than a year of talks between the three countries, he’s finally made good on that promise.

Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrated the new deal on Friday, and Trump referred to it as a “groundbreaking agreement” during his brief remarks.

Trump also tweeted about the pact, calling it “one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in U.S. and World History.”

hough it has a new name, the USMCA isn’t quite a “brand new deal,” as Trump has described it. It’s basically NAFTA 2.0: an updated version of the nearly 25-year-old trade agreement, with major changes for automakers, new labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and some digital trade provisions.

Even if the changes don’t quite match Trump’s bloviating, experts say the changes are significant. “It’s a substantially different agreement than NAFTA,” Richard Miles, director of the US-Mexico Futures Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me in October.

Friday’s relatively low-key signing ceremony was the easy part. Now begins the arduous process of getting the deal approved by lawmakers in all three countries.

Congress won’t consider the agreement until 2019, when Democrats become the majority in the House — and they may be reluctant to ratify the deal and give the president an easy win. And since the approval process will take some time, most of the new USMCA provisions won’t go into effect until 2020.

In the meantime, lawmakers in Canada, Mexico, and the US are still debating whether these revisions to NAFTA are wins or losses — and whether this new trade agreement is an improvement on what came before.

Here’s everything you need to know about USMCA, the trilateral trade agreement formerly known as NAFTA, and what it may mean for the future.

What’s new in the deal, and how big of an impact will it have?

The USMCA is similar to NAFTA, but with some hefty tweaks. Here are the major changes:

Country of origin rules

Under the new deal, cars or trucks must have 75 percent of their components manufactured in Mexico, the US, or Canada to qualify for zero tariffs. This is a substantial increase from 62.5 percent in the original NAFTA.

The goal is to boost auto parts manufacturing in North America by forcing car companies to use parts made here versus cheaper parts from Asia. This will probably increase the cost of cars and trucks, and it might make it harder for Mexico to make or sell certain smaller cars here in the US.

Labor provisions

The most striking difference about this new deal involves protections for workers in all three countries.

The agreement calls for 40 to 45 percent of automobile components to be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour by 2023. This provision specifically targets Mexico and is meant to bring wages there up to US and Canadian standards.

That’s good for Mexican workers, but that’s not the only motivation behind it. The Trump administration hopes that if Mexico no longer pays its workers a lot less than the US and Canada do, companies will no longer have a reason to move their factories there (and out of the US), thus keeping manufacturing jobs in the US and Canada.

In addition, Mexico has agreed to pass laws giving workers the right to real union representation, to extend labor protections to migrants workers (who are often from Central America), and to protect women from discrimination.

And unlike NAFTA, the new deal allows each country to sanction the others for labor violations that impact trade. It’s a complex, multi-step process modeled after similar protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multinational trade deal that Trump pulled the United States out of after taking office.

These are much-needed reforms, and they address a lot of concerns that US labor unions have long had about NAFTA.

But the labor provisions also offer certain complications — particularly how to enforce the $16-an-hour wage rule. “That appears to be a bit of a nightmare in terms of administration and red tape,” says Duncan Wood, the director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center.

That’s because it’s not quite clear how countries are going to keep track of how much companies in Mexico are paying their workers, or how Mexican companies will determine that everyone is making $16 an hour.

US farmers get more access to the Canadian dairy market

This has been a pet issue for Trump and is thus considered a win for the US — and probably Canadian consumers.

Canada uses what’s called a supply management system for dairy (and eggs and poultry), which closely regulates how much of each product can be produced and places strict tariffs and quotas on those items when they’re shipped into the country.

The US got Canada to open up its dairy market, starting with a six-month phase-in of access that goes up to nearly 4 percent — an amount just slightly above that which was negotiated in the TPP.

Canada also agreed to eliminate Class 7 milk, which made it cheaper to buy certain high-protein milk products from domestic producers in Canada; US farmers complained that it blocked their ability to export their products to Canada.

Wood said that while the US can claim this as a win, it’s really a victory for a small number of US farmers. “Is it a huge market? No, it’s not,” he says of Canada’s dairy market. “Is it going to make a life-changing difference to the United States balance of trade? Absolutely not. But it will make a difference to some farmers in places like Wisconsin.”

But US dairy farmers won at the expense of Canadian farmers — at least, that’s starting to be the view in Canada. Sarah Goldfeder, a principal at the Earnscliffe Strategy Group and a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said in October that though the Canadian dairy industry can likely absorb these changes, farmers and farmer associations are realizing they basically got screwed over.

“What was compromised all comes in agriculture — it’s grain, it’s dairy, it’s eggs, it’s poultry,” Goldfeder told me. “So I think that the agricultural sector in Canada is beginning to rumble.”

Elements of the dairy provisions changed in the final version of the USMCA, but according to Politico Pro Canada reporter Alexander Panetta, the changes are relatively minor — and not substantial enough to satisfy Canadian dairy farmers. They’re pushing back vocally against the USMCA, calling it a “dark day” in the history of dairy farming.

Intellectual property protections and digital trade provisions

This is seen as a win for the United States. The new agreement extends the terms of copyright from 50 years beyond the life of the author to 70 years beyond the life of the author. It also offers increased protections for a certain type of drug from eight years to 10 years — which basically extends the period that a drug can be protected from generic competition.

There’s also the fact that NAFTA was negotiated more than two decades ago, so it didn’t really deal with the internet. The USMCA aims to fix that by adding new provisions for the digital economy. These provisions include things like no duties on products purchased electronically, such as music or e-books, and protections for internet companies so they’re not liable for content their users produce.

Some experts told me these digital trade provisions fall short of what’s needed for a modernized NAFTA, but it’s a start.

Canada preserves the special trade dispute mechanism

One of Canada’s red lines was the preservation of NAFTA’s Chapter 19, which set up an independent mechanism to resolve special trade disputes between the countries (rather than trying to fight it out in domestic courts). Canada saw Chapter 19 as a way to defend against protectionist trade policies by the US, and it prevailed in this goal.

Investors can’t sue governments

In the original NAFTA, a provision known as Chapter 11 gave investors the ability to sue governments over changes to policies that they claim would harm future profits. It’s been eliminated for the US and Canada and has been restricted in Mexico except for a few sectors, including energy.

This might mean that investors, particularly in Mexico, are less protected than they were under the original NAFTA, but it’s also being applauded for eliminating a mechanism that companies used to challenge government health and environmental regulations.

Section 232 tariffs are still in place

In some ways, Section 232 tariffs have dictated the NAFTA debate more than the actual terms of the agreement. Section 232 is basically a trade loophole that Trump has used to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

As Zeeshan Aleem wrote for Vox June 2018, Section 232 “basically says that the US can block the import of materials critical for national security in order to ensure that the country has reliable supplies in the event of a war.” He continues:

But this isn’t really about national security — that just happens to be the legal argument the administration is using to establish that it has the legal authority to do this. If this were just about national security — that is, making sure we have reliable access to steel in the event of a major war — the fact that we get much of our steel from close allies should satisfy that requirement.

In reality, Trump is trying to boost the domestic US steel industry.

Both Canada and Mexico wanted protections from these tariffs — and Canada, in particular, finds these tariffs insulting, since it is a close defense partner of the US.

But the USMCA doesn’t exempt them from those tariffs. Canada and Mexico did get the US to make a side agreement that largely protects them from possible auto tariffs under 232, but the steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place.

During the signing ceremony on Friday, Trudeau made his frustration known, telling the US president that this new deal was “all the more reason we need to keep working to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs between our countries.”

The Trump administration, however, doesn’t seem to be in any rush: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters that while negotiations continue, the steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place.

The sunset clause

This new agreement puts in a 16-year “sunset” clause — meaning the terms of the agreement expire, or “sunset,” after a set period of time.

The deal is also subject to a review every six years, at which point the US, Mexico, and Canada can decide to extend USMCA. It’s a compromise from the five-year sunset clause that the Trump administration originally proposed.

These are some of the agreement’s highlights, but there are plenty more tweaks. Most of the provisions won’t go into effect until 2020, so it will be a while until American (or Canadian or Mexican) consumers and workers experience the effects of the new NAFTA.

It’s likely that American consumers will eventually pay a bit more for cars as a result of the deal, and while the administration’s goal is to keep manufacturing jobs in the US, it’s too early to predict what the consequences on the workforce will be.

If you’re an American dairy farmer, you’re probably celebrating, though — American agriculture seems to benefit under the new deal. Canadian farmers aren’t thrilled, but Canadian consumers could benefit as well, on dairy, and on things such as online shopping and wine.

Finally, the new labor provisions mean that Mexican workers stand to benefit, with greater workplace protections and possibly higher wages.

The USMCA is signed — now it needs to get approved

Trump, Trudeau, and Peña Nieto signed the agreement, but it now needs to be ratified by all three governments. Mexico is the most dependent on NAFTA — or USMCA — among the three countries, so it has the most to lose, said Miles. Incoming leftist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador had already said he won’t renegotiate the deal, and his backing will likely ease the agreement through Mexico’s legislature.

Canada’s concessions to the US on agriculture have roiled politicians in the aftermath of the agreement — and there’s also some pushback on Canada’s inability to resolve steel and aluminum tariffs and all the issues around Section 232. That might not necessarily stop it from getting through the Canadian Parliament, but it may become a campaign issue during federal elections next year.

“There’s a lot of fodder here for an upcoming election year, but I also think there’s no way it wasn’t going to be an election issue. Whatever deal [Trudeau] got, he was going to get hit by somebody,” said Goldfeder.

And then there’s the United States. Congress won’t consider the USMCA until 2019 — when the Democrats reclaim control of the House of Representatives. Both Democrats and Republicans supported a trilateral agreement that included Mexico and Canada, but Democrats have begun agitating against the agreement, with the primary gripe being that it doesn’t do enough to protect American workers and that the improved labor provisions lack teeth.

“Based on the details made available, this agreement fails to provide the credible enforcement mechanisms that ensure labor protections are more than just words on a page,” Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), the current ranking Democrat on the Education and Workforce Committee, said in a statement Friday. “As a result, this agreement does not live up to the promises made to American workers.”

Other prominent Democrats have expressed concerns, including on the Senate side; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came out against the new trade pact in a speech Thursday.

It might be an early sign the Democrats won’t give Trump an easy win.

But Democrats don’t have a simple way to make modifications to the USMCA. The US renegotiated NAFTA under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a law which empowers the president to negotiate trade deals and allows Congress to “fast-track” the agreement with an up-or-down vote. This doesn’t leave room for the House or Senate to make changes or introduce amendments.

If Democrats do demand major tweaks, they’d likely have to pressure the administration to reach some sort of side agreement on labor or environmental rules.

None of this is likely to be sorted out soon. The US International Trade Commission will study the pact and issue a report on the effects of the USMCA on the economy, including its impact on different sectors and US consumers. That report is due 105 days after the official signing, so probably sometime in March. It’s likely Congress will wait to even consider the USMCA until that analysis is done.

In the meantime, the Democrats will probably use their leverage to get concessions out of the Trump administration on labor or environmental protections — or possibly even try to help lobby for the removal of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

It’s good to keep in mind that though Democrats may fight the USMCA, they likely will want to avoid the economic consequences of totally torpedoing the deal. Tearing up the trade pact altogether would be bad for workers and businesses in the US, Mexico, and Canada, many of whom could be stuck in limbo.

The bottom line: Bipartisan support is within reach, though it might take a bit more deal-making before Trump and the Democrats reach a consensus.

Trump gets a win on his trade strategy — but what does it all mean?

Trump promised to renegotiate NAFTA — and he did. But it’s not exactly the brand new deal he says it is, since the core of NAFTA remains intact. The new deal will also likely do little to address Trump’s big pet peeve about trade deficits.

“They have fixed some of the problems with NAFTA, they have brought it up to date, they have expanded the scope of the agreement, but they have in no way fixed what seemed to be the fundamental problems of NAFTA by President Trump, or the kinds of thing he identified during his election campaign in 2016,” Wood said.

NAFTA was negotiated more than 25 years ago, and elements of it were definitely outdated for the simple fact that technology has transformed in those years. USMCA has introduced digital trade protections and other updates, but it may not have gone far enough.

It’s “marginally more modern,” Goldfeder said. “It does deal with digital industries, it has some of the foundations of a 21st-century agreement, but it will need to be addressed six years from now.”

Many of the more forward-looking agreements, such as those on digital trade protections, were borrowed from the TPP — basically a retread of negotiations already completed. And the main success of USMCA revolved around, well, automobiles.

“It’s amazing that in 2018, cars are the main driver of a NAFTA rewrite, but here we are,” Marc Busch, an international trade law expert at Georgetown University, quipped to Vox after the deal was reached.

It’s also worth considering how NAFTA got renegotiated in the first place: by a president who threatened to rip up the agreement, and then used tariffs as an ongoing threat to wrestle Canada and Mexico to the negotiating table.

“Tariffs bring people to the table, and if you play hardball, then you get a deal,” Miles said. “I think now [Trump] feels validated that that’s what’s happened here.”

 

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  • 1 year later...

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New NAFTA - the fine print...

'Shock at the doorstep': New NAFTA raises duty-free limits for private couriers, but not Canada Post

Consumers can choose to avoid paying the GST by picking a private courier over Canada Post, but many don't have that option

Fri Jun 26, 2020 - Financial Post

OTTAWA — Canadians who buy online from stores in the United States or Mexico will get a bit of reprieve from taxes and duties next week but only if their packages are delivered by a private courier.

If Canada Post is the one tapped to drop the package in the mailbox or on the doorstep, the old rules will still apply, leaving a two-tiered tax system for the same goods.

“We are just mystified that the government would be setting consumers up for that surprise,” said Andrea Stairs, president of eBay Canada and chief marketing officer for eBay North America.

The change is part of the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement, which comes into effect on Canada Day. Within the trade deal, Canada agreed to lift the very low limit it had applied for duty and tax-free consumer imports, known as the de minimis threshold.

It used to be that any goods purchased and imported by mail or courier would be subject to duty and GST if the total value was anything over $20. On July 1, that threshold is rising to $40 before GST gets applied and $150 before customs duties are added, for all packages delivered by couriers such as FedEx or UPS.

The changes do not include Canada Post, for which all tax and duties will continue to be applied after $20. It means if consumers have a choice in how their package is shipped, they can choose to avoid paying the GST by picking a private courier. But consumers don’t always have that choice, said Stairs.

She also said postal rates are usually the most competitive for shippers, so this change means the modest break on taxes that consumers could expect from the new trade deal might be eliminated, since it costs more to use a private courier.

“It’s really unfair to middle-class Canadians and it’s also very unfair to rural Canadians who just don’t have the option in some cases of having courier service to them,” said Stairs.
The modest break on taxes that consumers could expect from the new trade deal might be eliminated, since it costs more to use a private courier. Mike Blake/Reuters files

She estimates about 80 per cent of the packages delivered across the border from eBay sellers are shipped by the postal services.

“I think consumers fully anticipate that the new thresholds that were negotiated in CUSMA were going to apply to all imports from the U.S. and I think when they realize that actually the majority of those are excluded from the modest increases there is going to be some pretty significant shock at the doorstep,” said Stairs.

Graham Robins, the president of A&A Customs Brokers in Surrey, B.C., said the changes are causing confusion and concern for customs agents who now have more work to try to sort out whether packages need to go through customs or not.

Robins also said shippers will be deciding if it’s more economical to simply avoid the post office.

A spokesperson for Canada Post said the Crown corporation will follow the rules and pay the fees set out by the federal government and had no further comment on the changes.

Stairs said she met early in 2020 with Procurement Minister Anita Anand, who is responsible for Canada Post, and felt Anand understood the issue, but that ultimately the decision was up to Finance Minister Bill Morneau. A spokesperson for Morneau had not yet responded to questions about the matter by Thursday evening.

.

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And then there is Aluminum and steel.  

 

Trump threatens tariffs on Canadian steel, aluminum as USMCA set to take effect

USMCA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right to left, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, President of the United States Donald Trump, Mexico's Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, and President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto participate in a signing ceremony for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

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James McCarten, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, June 28, 2020 1:16PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- If the long-awaited debut of Canada's new trade pact with the United States and Mexico heralds a new dawn in North American relations, Robert Lighthizer sure has a funny way of showing it.

With the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement coming into effect Wednesday, the U.S. trade ambassador reminded a congressional committee that within the velvet glove of trade diplomacy, Donald Trump's White House wields an iron fist of zero-tolerance enforcement.

And instead of friendly declarations of trilateral solidarity, the prospect of punitive Section 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum - an economic headache that tormented negotiators during a low point in Canada-U.S. relations - is back and looming large.

“One would think that this would have heralded a new era, but in some respects, this is a situation that just continues to roll on and persist,” said consultant Eric Miller, president of the D.C.-based Rideau Potomac Strategy Group.

In his testimony earlier this month to the Senate Finance Committee, Lighthizer promised to take “the necessary steps” to ensure the agreement's small-business provisions are honoured. And he threatened legal action in the event of shenanigans by Canada's dairy sector, which is giving up 3.59 per cent of the domestic market and restricting exports on key products like skim milk powder and infant formula.

“There are a number of ways that they could implement their program that would be less helpful to us than others,” he said. “If there's any shading of the benefits to American farmers, we're going to bring a case against them.”

Notwithstanding the tough talk and the threat of tariffs, the long-term predictability and stability that will accompany Wednesday's new managed-trade regime vastly outweighs whatever hiccups and disagreements will occur in the early going, said Nick Guzman, an international trade lawyer with Faegre Drinker in Chicago.

“The administrations in all three countries took advantage of the USMCA rewrite to modernize the agreement and incorporate some efficiencies that are going to make trilateral trade a lot more efficient, a lot better,” Guzman said.

Aside from more U.S. dairy products in Canadian grocery stores and slightly higher postage costs for cross-border shipping, the average Canadian likely won't see dramatic changes right away, he added - although modestly higher prices for cars and trucks are a possibility, given the upheaval likely from the agreement's new rules of origin and labour provisions.

“You'll certainly see some big decisions being made by automotive manufacturers on where their production facilities are located, the volumes that they're producing at those facilities and things like that. A lot of the changes to the automotive sector will be pretty significant and pretty drastic.”

Canadians who get small-ticket items delivered from the U.S. via Canada Post or the U.S. Postal Service will pay more on items worth more than $20, while couriers will enjoy a new $150 exemption under USMCA - the so-called “de minimis” threshold, said Graham Robins, president and CEO of B.C.-based A & A Customs Brokers.

“If you're an e-commerce store and all your items are $80, it's a big issue,” Robins said.

Lighthizer is resurrecting the spectre of tariffs because of recent “surges” in steel and aluminum exports, “substantially from Canada,” contrary to the agreement that ended the year-long stalemate in May 2019.

In a letter to Lighthizer, the Aluminum Association - a consortium of 16 U.S.-based producers of finished aluminum products - broke ranks Thursday with the American smelter operators who are calling for new penalties, and urged the U.S. trade representative to reconsider.

“The integrated North American aluminum supply chain has been a crucial element of the U.S. aluminum industry's ability to invest and grow over the past several decades,” they wrote.

“Even at full capacity, U.S. primary aluminum smelters can only meet about one-third of the demand for this vital material. The aluminum industry has no choice but to import a significant amount of primary aluminum to meet demand - the only question is from where.”

Experts are divided on whether tariffs are coming, given the political and economic challenges confronting the famously mercurial U.S. president.

The landscape is dramatically different than it was in 2018, when trade talks had yet to produce a deal, the U.S. economy was healthy and it would have been political suicide for Republicans on Capitol Hill to disagree openly with White House strategy, said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer and Canada-U.S. specialist with Dickinson Wright in Columbus, Ohio.

“The president may try to go back to his old playbook, but it's a whole new ballgame in 2020. The U.S. industry itself is divided on this issue right now. There's not a huge political win here.”

That said, the May 2019 agreement did little to mitigate the risks of tariffs down the road, once the economy is recovered and the election is over, he added.

“Aluminum tariffs, much like softwood lumber, have the potential now to take on a life of their own that exists outside of the facts on the ground,” he said.

But to Miller, Trump resembles a wounded animal, cornered by negative polls, a struggling economy and nearly 130,000 COVID-19 deaths amid a pandemic that appears far from under control.

“Actions that look bold, or could be construed as bold, will become more and more in favour with this administration the closer we get to the election.”

 

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On 6/28/2020 at 12:04 PM, Lakelad said:

.

New NAFTA - the fine print...

'Shock at the doorstep': New NAFTA raises duty-free limits for private couriers, but not Canada Post

Consumers can choose to avoid paying the GST by picking a private courier over Canada Post, but many don't have that option

Fri Jun 26, 2020 - Financial Post

OTTAWA — Canadians who buy online from stores in the United States or Mexico will get a bit of reprieve from taxes and duties next week but only if their packages are delivered by a private courier.

If Canada Post is the one tapped to drop the package in the mailbox or on the doorstep, the old rules will still apply, leaving a two-tiered tax system for the same goods.

“We are just mystified that the government would be setting consumers up for that surprise,” said Andrea Stairs, president of eBay Canada and chief marketing officer for eBay North America.

The change is part of the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement, which comes into effect on Canada Day. Within the trade deal, Canada agreed to lift the very low limit it had applied for duty and tax-free consumer imports, known as the de minimis threshold.

It used to be that any goods purchased and imported by mail or courier would be subject to duty and GST if the total value was anything over $20. On July 1, that threshold is rising to $40 before GST gets applied and $150 before customs duties are added, for all packages delivered by couriers such as FedEx or UPS.

The changes do not include Canada Post, for which all tax and duties will continue to be applied after $20. It means if consumers have a choice in how their package is shipped, they can choose to avoid paying the GST by picking a private courier. But consumers don’t always have that choice, said Stairs.

She also said postal rates are usually the most competitive for shippers, so this change means the modest break on taxes that consumers could expect from the new trade deal might be eliminated, since it costs more to use a private courier.

“It’s really unfair to middle-class Canadians and it’s also very unfair to rural Canadians who just don’t have the option in some cases of having courier service to them,” said Stairs.
The modest break on taxes that consumers could expect from the new trade deal might be eliminated, since it costs more to use a private courier. Mike Blake/Reuters files

She estimates about 80 per cent of the packages delivered across the border from eBay sellers are shipped by the postal services.

“I think consumers fully anticipate that the new thresholds that were negotiated in CUSMA were going to apply to all imports from the U.S. and I think when they realize that actually the majority of those are excluded from the modest increases there is going to be some pretty significant shock at the doorstep,” said Stairs.

Graham Robins, the president of A&A Customs Brokers in Surrey, B.C., said the changes are causing confusion and concern for customs agents who now have more work to try to sort out whether packages need to go through customs or not.

Robins also said shippers will be deciding if it’s more economical to simply avoid the post office.

A spokesperson for Canada Post said the Crown corporation will follow the rules and pay the fees set out by the federal government and had no further comment on the changes.

Stairs said she met early in 2020 with Procurement Minister Anita Anand, who is responsible for Canada Post, and felt Anand understood the issue, but that ultimately the decision was up to Finance Minister Bill Morneau. A spokesperson for Morneau had not yet responded to questions about the matter by Thursday evening.

.

yes but FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. will ding you $30 at the door for brokerage fees.  Canada Post does not charge brokerage fees from the US due to a reciprocal agreement.  I will only purchase from US companies that ship via US Post for that reason.  It could actually be higher that any taxes you are required to pay.  Also I rarely get dinged for taxes anyway.

 

 

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U.S., Mexican presidents talk USMCA, celebrate new deal without Canada

Trump offers no hint of tensions after Trudeau skips meeting in Washington

  • Calgary Herald
  • 9 Jul 2020
  • JAMES MCCARTEN
img?regionKey=3b8FIgDXK6Xkoeo2U20MVA%3d%3dKEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS U.S. President Donald Trump holds a joint declaration of solidarity he signed with Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Washington on Wednesday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to attend amid the threat of U.S. tariffs against Canadian aluminum.

WASHINGTON Donald Trump promised an absent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau some in-person presidential face time Wednesday as the U.S. commander-in-chief and his Mexican counterpart went ahead celebrating North America’s new trade deal without Canada.

Trudeau last week declined to join Trump and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House, citing the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and this week’s pressing parliamentary business — not to mention the looming threat of renewed U.S. tariffs against Canadian aluminum exports.

Trump offered no hint of any such tensions before he and López Obrador signed a joint declaration of solidarity during an outdoor Rose Garden ceremony under a sweltering summer sun.

Instead, “we’ll have a separate day with Canada — they’re coming down at the appropriate time,” the president said, declaring the U.s.-mexico-canada Agreement, or USMCA, the “largest, fairest and most advanced” trade deal ever signed, and deriding its North American Free Trade Agreement predecessor as precisely the opposite. “We want to thank Canada also; I spoke with and will be speaking to the prime minister in a little while,” Trump said. “We want to congratulate Canada, and the people of Canada, and the prime minister.”

Earlier Wednesday, Trudeau extended congratulations of his own, calling the agreement a win for all three countries at a time of serious economic uncertainty.

“I think it’s really important that at a time of economic strain and stress that we continue to have access to the world’s most important market. This is good for Canadian workers and Canadian jobs right across the country.”

The formal debut of the agreement, which took effect last week, has nonetheless been sullied by the U.S. trade representative’s claim that Canada has exceeded limits on aluminum exports to the United States established when Trump lifted national-security tariffs on Canadian-made steel and aluminum in May 2019.

Trump made no mention of the latest dispute in his Rose Garden remarks, and neither leader took questions. Trudeau, however, said the threat of renewed tariffs “is a little bit difficult to understand,” given the potential impact of such a move.

“The U.S. doesn’t make nearly enough aluminum to be able to cover its needs, particularly at a time when we want economies to get going again across North America,” he said in Ottawa. “What tariffs would do would be to raise prices for manufacturers in the United States and put extra stresses on them at a time when stresses abound.”

Higher prices may be precisely the goal: The two U.S. producers that are urging the USTR to take action have ties to a Swiss metals company that holds the exclusive rights to sell Russian-made aluminum in the United States. China, Russia, India and Canada are the four largest aluminum producers in the world.

López Obrador’s visit to Washington, his first foreign trip since being elected in 2018, has prompted widespread criticism at home for a leader whose campaign trafficked heavily in criticizing Trump. Since then, the leader known in Mexico as AMLO, has been pilloried for his deference to a U.S. president famous for aggressive anti-immigration policies at the southern border.

With a U.S. presidential election now just four months away, it’s Trump who stands to benefit politically from a bilateral visit, experts told a Wilson Center panel discussion Wednesday — and if López Obrador hopes to secure safe harbour from Trump’s unpredictable foreign-policy whims, he may be sadly mistaken.

“If he thinks that going to Washington in this moment ... is going to insulate him or protect him from future actions by this president, especially in a campaign year — against tariffs, against some kind of other punitive measure — I think he’s fooling himself,” said Roberta Jacobson, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico under both Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama.

“Witness the fact that obviously we have the discussion of aluminum tariffs vis-a-vis Canada right now, as we’re celebrating USMCA. This is not a president who necessarily says, ’These are my new partners, I will not penalize them no matter what.”’

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer made a similar point, but not without twisting the partisan knife a little.

“Usually when Justin Trudeau leaves the country, it hurts Canada’s position on the world stage, so maybe it’s a good thing he stayed home,” Scheer said. “He has a perfect losing record when it comes to Donald Trump, so maybe we’re better off that he didn’t go.”

New Democrat trade critic Daniel Blaikie, meanwhile, is urging the federal Liberal government to spell out during a House of Commons trade committee meeting Thursday how it plans to protect Canada’s aluminum sector from the threat of an “arbitrary attack.”

“A second tariff levelled at an industry that is already hurting could very well be devastating,” Blaikie wrote in a letter this week to International Trade Minister Mary Ng. “The current global pandemic only makes matters worse.” The Canadian Press

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8 minutes ago, Marshall said:
 

Trump made no mention of the latest dispute in his Rose Garden remarks, and neither leader took questions. Trudeau, however, said the threat of renewed tariffs “is a little bit difficult to understand,” given the potential impact of such a move.

“The U.S. doesn’t make nearly enough aluminum to be able to cover its needs, particularly at a time when we want economies to get going again across North America,” he said in Ottawa. “What tariffs would do would be to raise prices for manufacturers in the United States and put extra stresses on them at a time when stresses abound.”

Higher prices may be precisely the goal: The two U.S. producers that are urging the USTR to take action have ties to a Swiss metals company that holds the exclusive rights to sell Russian-made aluminum in the United States. China, Russia, India and Canada are the four largest aluminum producers in the world.

Once again, a reference to something that will have Trump give a benefit to Russia.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

Screwed again.   
So much for benefits from the new trade agreement.

Trump imposing 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum

Rachel AielloOttawa News Bureau Online Producer

@rachaiello  Contact

Published Thursday, August 6, 2020 3:34PM EDTLast Updated Thursday, August 6, 2020 4:21PM EDT

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OTTAWA -- U.S. President Donald Trump is imposing a new 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum that is set to imminently come into effect.

In announcing the new trade action at an event in Ohio, Trump said that: “Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual.”

The federal government was informed by the U.S. administration that the new tariff was coming, and will apply to unprocessed Canadian aluminum.

Trump claimed on Thursday that the American aluminum business has been “decimated” by Canada, calling it “very unfair.”

He also said that the new tariffs are “absolutely necessary,” and pledged he will “always put American workers first.”  

The United States has been considering whether to slap tariffs on aluminum imports coming from Canada, under Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act, unless Canada agreed to restrict its export volumes through quotas.

Trump hit Canada with steel and aluminum tariffs in May 2018, during negotiations for the new NAFTA deal. The tariffs remained in place for a year, during which time Canada reciprocated with dollar-for-dollar countermeasures on American steel, aluminum, as well as levelling a surtax on other goods. 

A year later, Canada and the U.S. issued a joint statement announcing a decision to lift the tariffs, confirming that the two nations also agreed to terminate World Trade Organization litigation Canada launched after slamming the U.S. tariffs as "punitive" and "an affront" to Canada-U.S. relations. 

The new NAFTA came into effect on July 1, meaning this latest American trade action comes just over a month into the new deal.

The largest private sector union has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “stand firm” against the prospect of the re-imposition of tariffs and has suggested that Canada should retaliate.

Speaking to the prospect of the tariffs, Unifor National President Jerry Dias has called the prospective tariffs “totally unwarranted.” 

Dias has said that the arguments that American steel producers are making to the Trump administration about the need for intervention — including that a surge in Canadian aluminum imports is causing aluminum prices to collapse — are “preposterous and utterly divorced from reality,” because globally, due to COVID-19, demand for metal has gone down and that’s led to the declining prices. 

Developing story...

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Seems to me they are concerned (and have been concerned) about reliance on Canadian aluminium for the defence industry, it's a security issue regardless of how it's dressed up.

Think PPE sole sourced from China and you can understand the concern. That's not my position on the rightness or wrongness of it, simply acknowledgement of reality in a changing world where single source imports can sting, leave a mark, and be cut off when they are needed most. A lesson we have repeatedly failed to hoist aboard.

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Canada to retaliate 'dollar for dollar' after U.S. slaps 10% tariff on aluminum

 
 
 
Pete Evans, Ryan Patrick Jones
 
16 hrs ago
image.png.4a327f6afc7ebec05c59c85fc27f71fb.pngThe U.S. slapped import tariffs on Canadian aluminum in 2018 and later removed them.© Stu Mills/CBC The U.S. slapped import tariffs on Canadian aluminum in 2018 and later removed them.

Ottawa will impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in response to President Donald Trump's decision to restore a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum imports.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the measures Thursday evening hours after Trump said he would impose the tariffs during a campaign speech at a Whirlpool factory in Ohio, citing national security concerns.

Freeland, in a statement, said Canada "intends to swiftly impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures" in response.

"Canadian aluminum does not undermine U.S. national security. Canadian aluminum strengthens U.S. national security and has done so for decades through unparalleled co-operation between our two countries," she said.

Trudeau said, "We will always stand up for our aluminum workers. We did so in 2018, and we will stand up for them again now."

The United States slapped import tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in 2018, before removing them last year as part of a broad free trade deal now in force.

Canada retaliated that time with $16.6 billion in tariffs on U.S. products, including ketchup, ballpoint pens, licorice, orange juice, whisky and toilet paper. At the time, Canada focused on products that would cause pain in electoral districts held by key Republicans, something that could be done again given the U.S. election is only three months away.

Trudeau and Freeland didn't specify what U.S. goods will be subject to countermeasures, nor whether the government will follow a similar strategy of targeting goods produced in Republican districts.

The new U.S. tariff will be in effect as of Aug. 16.

A subset of American metals companies have complained that Canadian aluminum has recently been dumped on the U.S. market.

Canadian aluminum-makers have said they switched production during the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for higher-end products crashed, and the resulting aluminum has been sent to the U.S. primarily for storage.

The Aluminum Association of Canada (AAC) said last week those exports fell 16 per cent in June and 40 per cent in July as the system was starting to rebalance.

AAC president Jean Simard said U.S. tariffs will destabilize Canada's industry and supply chains in an economy that is already struggling under the weight of the pandemic.

"It's the wrong thing for the wrong reason at the wrong time for the wrong people," he said.

Simard said Canada is not flooding the U.S. market and needs "to hit back," at the very least, on U.S. products containing aluminum. He said that could also extend beyond aluminum.

"I think we're going to ponder the possibilities in the coming weeks and see what is on the one hand reasonable and on the other hand can be painful," he said. 

'A step in the wrong direction'

American business groups largely oppose Trump's plan, since it will raise costs of the metal for U.S. manufacturers, who will have little option but to pay the tariff and import the metal anyway because the U.S. does not produce enough of the metal to satisfy domestic demand.

Canada supplied about three-quarters of all the aluminum imported into the U.S. between January and May of 2020, said the executive order implementing the tariff on "non-alloyed unwrought aluminum."

Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: This isn't the first time that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have clashed on metal tariffs.© Patrick Doyle/Reuters, Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press This isn't the first time that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have clashed on metal tariffs.

"The administration's move to reimpose tariffs on aluminum from Canada is a step in the wrong direction," said Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs for business lobby group U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"These tariffs will raise costs for American manufacturers, are opposed by most U.S. aluminum producers and will draw retaliation against U.S. exports."

The president of the industry association that represents U.S. aluminum producers said he is disappointed that Trump did not listen to domestic producers, who have been lobbying against imposing the Section 232 tariffs.

"After years of complex negotiations and hard work by government, industry and other leaders across North America to make the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement a reality, this ill-advised action on a key trading partner undermines the deal's benefits at a time when U.S. businesses and consumers can least afford it," said Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association.

Dobbins said reports of a surge of aluminum imports from Canada are grossly exaggerated. 

Shades of NAFTA

Chris Sands, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, D.C., said aluminum is being used as a cudgel in a trade dispute is reminiscent of the role softwood lumber played in the lead up to the first Canada-U.S. free trade deal a generation ago.

Disputes over softwood lumber threatened to derail that deal at the time, which is why both sides agreed to carve out the issue from a broader agreement, a decision which caused the issue to fester for years since it wasn't included in the agreed-upon rules.

"We temporarily resolve the dispute. We got our big trade deal [but] we then went back to the trade war," Sands said in an interview with CBC News.

Similarly here, the aluminum tariffs were excluded from the comprehensive trade deal that the U.S. and Canada and Mexico agreed to in 2019. "As soon as Canada's Parliament, the U.S. Congress and the Mexican Congress approved the [USMCA] deal he's gone back to the trade war that he interrupted in order to get a deal."

Opposition blames Liberal government

Opposition politicians moved quickly to blame the Liberal government for not standing up to the U.S. president.

"Justin Trudeau has once again let down Canada's aluminum workers," read a joint statement from four Conservative MPs, including international trade critic Randy Hoback and Canada-U.S. relations critic Colin Carrie.

"The U.S. administration has been foreshadowing new tariffs on Canadian aluminum for weeks, so why didn't the Trudeau government take action to protect Canadian workers?"

The Conservatives said Ottawa should immediately retaliate to send a clear message to the U.S.

"Unfortunately, the Trudeau government has put Canada in a weaker position to combat these tariffs, after the concessions they made during the last round of American trade action," the statement said. "Canada can only retaliate on like products, putting our country at a strategic disadvantage."

NDP critic for international trade Daniel Blaikie said it's Canadian aluminum workers who will be hurt by what he called Trump's "electioneering" and the Trudeau government's "lack of action."

"The federal government has known for weeks that this was in the works," said Blaikie. "Now, they owe it to Canadian aluminum workers to release a plan for how they'll help protect their livelihoods until we have a more reliable partner in the White House

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Quote

Trudeau said, "We will always stand up for our aluminum workers. We did so in 2018, and we will stand up for them again now."

Gee....again, how do our oil and resource sector workers feel?? 
 

Quote

Aside from one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia, all Canadian plants are in the province of Quebec.

Same line of defence for the SNC affair...standing up for jobs (in Quebec)....for once I would like to hear him defend jobs somewhere else in the country.

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  • 1 month later...

A win for Canada or ? 

At 11th hour, U.S. abruptly reverses course, lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum
 48 mins ago


WASHINGTON, Wash. — The United States has suddenly called a tariff truce with Canada, lifting its 10 per cent aluminum levy Tuesday just hours before Ottawa was to unleash a suite of countermeasures. 


The tariffs on Canadian aluminum will be lifted retroactive to Sept. 1 because Canadian exports are expected to "normalize" over the remainder of the year, the U.S. trade representative's office said in a statement. 

The news came as Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and International Trade Minister Mary Ng prepared to unveil a list of U.S. aluminum products and manufactured goods Canada had singled out for reciprocal treatment.

"Canada will not be imposing reciprocal countermeasures on the United States," Ng told a news conference in Ottawa.

"Let me be clear: Canada has not conceded anything. We fully retain our right to impose our countermeasures if the U.S. administration decides to reimpose its tariffs on Canadian aluminum products, and we are prepared to do so."

Average monthly imports from Canada are expected to decline by 50 per cent from the levels they reached in the first six months of the year, the USTR said. 

"Based on these expectations, the United States will resume duty-free treatment of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum retrospective to Sept. 1, 2020," and the next four months will be closely monitored. 

"If actual shipments exceeded 105 per cent of the expected volume for any month during the four-month period, then the United States will impose the 10 per cent tariff retroactively on all shipments made in that month."

Both sides in the dispute had been negotiating for months, and there had been rumblings of a resolution, said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer with the Ohio firm Dickinson Wright who specializes in the Canada-U. S. corridor.

A gradual resumption of manufacturing in the U.S., which ground to a halt at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, likely helped ease the pressure. 

"I think it's a combination of the threat of countermeasures and the facts on the ground as the purported surge was dropping, based on the economic recovery," Ujczo said. 

Canadian aluminum producers have been complaining for weeks that what the U.S. saw as a "surge" was in fact the unavoidable byproduct of emergency measures. 

With automakers forced to idle their production lines, demand for specialty value-added aluminum products from north of the border began drying up in March. 

Smelters, unable to simply shut down and ride out the storm, instead shifted to producing the same generic, unwrought metal as producers in the U.S., triggering alarm bells and eliciting the wrath of the USTR. 

"The last thing that Canadians and Americans need now in the midst of this pandemic is another trade war," Freeland said. 

"Canada salutes this change in position and is delighted at the prospect of strengthening its trade relationship with the United States."

U.S. negotiators have long tried to impose quotas on exporters of Canadian metal, an effort that officials on the Canadian side of the table have strenuously opposed. 

The terms of the detente reached Tuesday don't extend into quota territory, Ujczo said. 

"I mean, there's certainly thresholds, but I don't think these operate as a limit to completely constrain the industry," he said. "These allow for growth within the industry based on market principles."

The White House had also been under recent pressure to rethink the tariffs. 

The governors of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont wrote to President Donald Trump last week in hopes of convincing him to stop what they called "unnecessary and inappropriate" measures sure to have "negative consequences" for consumers and suppliers in the United States.

"New England and Canada build things together," they wrote. "The rising costs will add to the challenges already facing most business sectors during these challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." 

The U.S. imposed the tariffs last month at the request of two American manufacturers, prompting an outcry not only from Canadian producers, but from the bulk of aluminum producers in the U.S. as well. 

The federal Liberal government had already issued a list of products it might have targeted for retaliation, including beverage cans, washing machines and golf clubs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2020.

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

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  • 1 month later...

Trump lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum, warns he may resume them

1 hour ago
 
 
Reuters logoTrump lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum, warns he may resume them
 
 
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Tuesday formally removing tariffs on raw aluminum imports from Canada but threatening to reinstate them if there was a surge in imports of the metal across the northern U.S. border.

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The proclamation follows an agreement with Canada announced last month by the U.S. Trade Representative's office to reinstate an exclusion for Canadian imports from 10% "Section 232" national security tariffs, retroactive to Sept. 1.

Trump first granted the exclusion to Canada in 2019, but a surge in imports of Canadian non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum prompted him to slap the tariffs back on in August, inflaming tensions with Ottawa.

After consulting with Canadian counterparts, USTR said Canada was now expected to export just 70,000 to 83,000 tons of raw aluminum per month through December -- about half the monthly rate from January to July.

Trump said in the proclamation he may reimpose tariffs on non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada "in the event that the volume of imports of these articles from Canada in the remaining months of 2020 exceeds the quantities that the United States expects will be exported from Canada."

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Jona

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  • 6 months later...
On 10/1/2018 at 9:05 AM, Guest said:

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

That was when it was first signed and now it is reality time.

U.S. requests dispute settlement panel on Canadian dairy quotas under USMCA trade deal
By David Lawder  1 hour ago
The Biden administration on Tuesday escalated a simmering trade dispute with Canada over dairy import quotas, requesting that the first dispute settlement panel under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement be formed to review the matter.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office said its complaint alleges that Canada was improperly allocating USMCA tariff-rate import quotas on 14 dairy products, diverting a portion of them to Canadian processors and unfairly limiting export opportunities for U.S. dairy farmers and processors.

USTR first requested https://reut.rs/3qBA2V0 consultations with Canada on the matter in December, when former President Donald Trump's administration was still in office. USTR officials said that Canada had been "responsive" in discussing the U.S. concerns but that the dispute was not resolved.

The USMCA, which took effect in July 2020, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement, granted some additional limited access for U.S. dairy farmers and processors to Canada's largely closed domestic dairy market, via tariff-rate quotas on 14 products from milk powder to ice cream and cheese.

USTR claims that Canada is illegally reserving a portion of those quotas for Canadian processors.

"Canada is disappointed that the United States has requested a dispute settlement panel," Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng said in a statement," adding the country is confident its policies "are in full compliance" with its tariff-rate quota obligations.

A dispute panel will take about 30 days to form under the USMCA's dispute settlement system, and is due to file an initial report within about 120 days, with a final report 30 days after that - about late November.

USTR officials said that a ruling in the United States' favor would lead to further consultations with Canada to resolve the matter but could ultimately lead to punitive tariffs imposed on imports from Canada.

"A top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration is fully enforcing the USMCA and ensuring that it benefits American workers," U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

"Launching the first panel request under the agreement will ensure our dairy industry and its workers can seize new opportunities under the USMCA to market and sell U.S. products to Canadian consumers."

(Reporting by David Lawder; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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The U.S. has traditionally paid dairy producers to overproduce.  Then they seek to bully other countries to buy the product.

Canada's supply management means the dairy farmers only produce what they can sell.

And let's not even get into the fact that the U.S. allows hormones and antibiotics in their dairy system whereas in Canada it is forbidden.

https://www.realagriculture.com/2018/02/u-s-dairy-subsidies-equal-73-percent-of-producer-returns-says-new-report/

https://reason.com/2019/03/02/thanks-to-decades-of-government-meddling/

https://albertamilk.com/for-industry/supply-management/supply-management-facts-myths/

 

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Just goes to show / prove, no matter who the President of the USA is or their party, their first concern is of course to do better for Americans.  I doubt any of them past or future really will or did care if their policies had an negative impact on Canada.

The only light on the horizion is that Biden want to get their rare earn minerals from Canada, Australia and Brazil . 

This might give us some bargaining power but only if we agree to provide the minerals and absorb any negative environmental impact on Canada from the mining. Maybe we should tell him to "Pound Sand".... 

Exclusive: Biden looks abroad for electric vehicle metals, in blow to U.S. miners | Reuters

Quote

Biden officials want to ensure the administration's EV aspirations are not imperiled as domestic mines face roadblocks, the sources said, both from environmentalists and even some Democrats.

 

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