Monday, 10 December, 2018

Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement Targets China’s Bad Practices

Trump and Trudeau agree on a revised NAFTA deal Canada-US reach deal to reform NAFTA
Jodi Jackson | 04 October, 2018, 08:39

One of the country's top auto parts executives said representatives on both sides of the border deserve some love for the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, which removes the threat of damaging auto tariffs on Canada. The trade pact will now be renamed the "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement" or USMCA.

The clause, which has stirred controversy in Canada, fits in with U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to isolate China economically and prevent Chinese companies from using Canada or Mexico as a "back door" to ship products tariff-free to the United States.

Li Guangman, a freelance writer and columnist for Chinese news opinion portal CWZG, wrote that Mexico and Canada were simply "corpses that have been killed by the big bat of the USA trade war" and China "should not show any sympathy towards them [Mexico and Canada]".

"It doesn't have to be a full-fledged free-trade agreement to be a useful conversation", he said.

The Canadian dollar hit a four-month high against the US greenback, and investors raised bets for as many as four additional interest rate increases from the Bank of Canada by the end of 2019. Canadian protections for its dairy industry had been a long-standing sore spot for President Trump.

Following an Oval Office meeting with Trump, Congressman Steve King said that China will soon be paying a heavy price for stealing American intellectual property.

Canada has made a last-minute decision to rejoin what had been the North American Free Trade Agreement, which will now be called USMCA.

Trudeau repeatedly made the point that he had managed to preserve the protected domestic market, which some US interest groups said should be scrapped.

"I hope what they did in the renegotiated agreement is to make sure that the labor and wage standards in Mexico are lifted so that the playing field is more even now", Castro said. The revisions include changes on auto-sourcing rules as well as new or updated provisions on digital trade, financial services and other areas of commerce. USMCA will "allow us to reclaim a supply chain that has been off-shored to the world because of unfair trade issues".

The deal still needs to be approved by Congress and by the legislatures of Canada and Mexico, but the president predicted it would get enough support to pass.

Besides, he added, "Canada would not negotiate a deal that would threaten its access to the US market". "But in terms of rights and obligations, it doesn't impose any obligation on Canada not to negotiate an agreement with anybody".

Rather, the new agreement is being widely described as a "NAFTA-minus": a regime not as free as NAFTA had been, particularly in the automotive sector, but still very much in the interests of all three countries - and definitely better than no deal. "They may be willing to do that for political purposes", he said.

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