Canada US sign new NAFTA deal

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jerrym
Canada US sign new NAFTA deal

Canada and the US have signed a new NAFTA deal. The Liberal government of course announced its 'good points' and the negatives will dribble out later. One major concern is that the aluminum and steel tariffs are not part of the agreement and will be in a separate side deal that will come later. In other words, the worst possible threat is still there. The six year review also provides plenty of opportunities for future Trump-style threats by any future US government. 

Reports say that Canada has made concessions on dairy market access that are slightly higher than under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Chapter 19, the dispute resolution mechanism, which was a major sticking point in the negotiations, will be kept with no substantial changes.

Concerning steel and auto tariffs, U.S. officials say they are on a separate track and are a side agreement that still will be dealt with.

A review of the deal will come up every six years, officials said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4500068/nafta-2018-agreement-finalized/

 

NDPP

Council of Canadians: NAFTA 2.0 Curtails Chapter 11 But Doesn't Meet Smell Test

https://serendeputy.com/d/d7ba65d661

"Farmers have been once again sacrificed in the deal taking another 3.25 per cent hit in terms of products that  can come into Canada. Combined with CETA the CPTPP, and NAFTA, we are moving towards a factory farm vision for Canadian agriculture. And while energy proportionality has been removed it has been replaced with provisions which accelerate pipeline approval..."

Canada, US Reach Tentative NAFTA Deal: Trump Approves Pact

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-canada-us-reach-outline...

"Canada and the US have reached a tentative deal to overhaul the North American free trade agreement after intensive weekend talks...Read the full text of the agreement."

josh

And the Trump official said the two sides had agreed to phase out the investor-state dispute settlement system, “Chapter 11,” that allows corporations to sue governments. Both the Trump administration and Trudeau disliked the system, though Trudeau had not said so publicly.

If true, that's something at least.

josh
alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Donald Trump is a fucking asshole

NDPP

Canada Capitulates To Trump on Trade With Renegotiated NAFTA

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/10/canada-capitulates-trump-trade-new-n...

"...The Betrayal of Canada' was a number 1 bestseller. The USMCA deal awaits a sequel: The Further Betrayal  of Canada..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..another in the fucking long line of free trade disasters.

NDPP

NAFTA Has Been Replaced, But At What Cost To Canada?

https://theconversation.com/nafta-has-been-replaced-but-at-what-cost-to-...

"That cost is placing the US in a position of unprecedented authority over its neighbours' ability to craft their own domestic and international economic agendas."

jerrym

The details are not yet available but CBC's Power and Politics is reporting that the US will have some influence on Canadian trade with China and the US will have some influence on Canadian monetary policy. What's left for Canada to decide?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..read post #6 for details

jerrym

Canada will extend the exemption from competition by generics for biologic drugs from eight to ten years, which are used to fight auto-immune diseases, and include seven of the ten most expensive drugs bought by Canadians, thereby increasing pharmaceutical costs by hundreds of millions.

A national pharmacare program would help keep these costs in line, but it would have to be a complete coverage program to be effective, as the Liberals piecemeal approach would not work. Canada is the only developed country with a national health care program that does not include pharmacare. 

 

NDPP

With Its New Trade Deal, Canada Surrenders Sovereignty To A Bully

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/canada-usmca-1.4845494

"This is all about the Americans laying down a marker,' says a Canadian lawyer inside the NAFTA renegotiations. 'They are effectively saying, 'We are going to control North America.'   "I cannot believe Canada would sign this. It makes me want to puke."

Aristotleded24

This turns things upside down on so many levels.

While I always considered both the Liberals and the Conservatives to be neo-liberal free traders, I never thought I would have to give credit to a Conservative government over that of a Liberal one. The first 3 years of Harper's administration overlapped the Presidency of George W Bush. Both were ardent free traders. Harper would not have hesitated to privatize anything. Yet for some reason, he never touched supply management in dairy. It is also the reason that Andrew Scheer defeated Maxime Bernier for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Rather than learn that lesson, Trudeau has sold out our dairy farmers.

Tump campaigned on how bad NAFTA and the TPP was. One of his first acts was to withdraw the US from the TPP, a move which many on the left cheered. However, there has always been indications that he is a snake oil salesman on this front, since his business interests benefit from free trade. This here is the final nail in the coffin for the idea that Trump is a protectionist. At least Wisconsin dairy farmers will be happy with dumping their surplus into Canada.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected with great enthusiasm by the Mexican people last summer. Desipte that enthusiasm, he was very vague on elements of his platform, and in the area of taxation, was even to the right of Thomas Mulcair. He made some noise about trying to force the delay of the NAFTA negotiations, however how has made some noises that he will accept whatever the outgoing Mexican administration does. Obrador has been spoken of as Mexico's Bernie Sanders. I'm wondering if Barack Obama is the more accurate comparison.

Make no mistake. We need to stop this thing.

Martin N.

Make no mistake. We need to stop this thing

And do what? I'm not disagreeing with you but what is your solution? I'm no fan of Trudeau but in this case he had no options other than to make the best of a very bad deal or face an unacceptable economic fate.

Economists have bemoaned Canada's path of least resistence export strategy and lacklustre productivity since the 50s. We need to diversify our trade, up our game,wring ever dollar we can out of the economy and compete or face the unpleasant fact that we will become a mere appendage, controlled from Washington.

NDPP

While this may well be a national and historic disaster, surely the loss of Canadian sovereignty is a small price to pay to spin a Liberal political win. And besides, truthfully these negotiations have been largely ignored as were TPP and CETA and many Canadians seem far more interested in American politics than their own. Perhaps the time has come to face the reality of capitulation/'compromise' as a national characteristic and American domination as our chosen and inevitable fate.

NDPP

Trudeau's Claim of Victory in Trade Deal is Hollow - Canada Was Played.

https://t.co/PEmkc4WHyn

"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 the battle against the Romans. 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.

But not to put too fine a point on it, Canada has been played. 'It's the preservation of a 25-year-old status quo,' said James McIlroy, a trade consultant at McIlroy and McIlroy in Toronto. 'This is a silent job killer and it's not good for Canada.' 

In the words of Larry Kudlow, Trump's economics adviser: 'Canada gave very generously.' The Trudeau government has caved on just about everything, as the cost of preserving peace. This deal is fundamentally a story about the re-assertion of US power."

 

But from the perspective of  the meat-cutters who  have successfully completed their negotiations and agreement on the slaughter and butchery of the passive, compliant creature on the slab before them: 'It's a win-win deal.' For the creature, not so much.

NDPP

CoC: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in NAFTA 2.0

https://buff.ly/2y89ikI

"Gender and Indigenous Chapters: They aren't there. Goodbye progressive trade!"

 

AFN's Bellegarde Says USMCA FN 'Inclusive'

https://twitter.com/HarshaWalia/status/1046855412463501312

"What?! There is literally no reference to UNDRIP or Indigenous consent in the agreement. Weak enforcement on environmental and water regulations. Plus patent prices will disproportionately impact Indigenous peoples' health."

'

Free Trade Agreements Have Devastating Impacts on Indigenous Peoples'

https://twitter.com/Pam_Palmater/status/1046844825272799237

"Free trade agreements have devastating impacts on Indigenous peoples, lands, waters, resources and general well-being. Terrible that he is always the spokesperson for the worst projects instead of our sovereignty and rights."

 

Martin N.

NDPP wrote:

While this may well be a national and historic disaster, surely the loss of Canadian sovereignty is a small price to pay to spin a Liberal political win. And besides, truthfully these negotiations have been largely ignored as were TPP and CETA and many Canadians seem far more interested in American politics than their own. Perhaps the time has come to face the reality of capitulation/'compromise' as a national characteristic and American domination as our chosen and inevitable fate.

That is definitely our fate and you are right on. Winston Churchill comes to mind: "Appeasement is feeding a crocodile in the hope that he will eat you last".

Our choices are to work very hard, raise productivity, diversify exports away from the US, expand our economy and protect our sovereignty or to continue our apathetic, entitled descent into a US vassal state. 

By continuing our present trajectory, the US doesnt even have to buy us because they will take what they want or threaten economic destruction. Again, Trudeau doesnt wear this - its due to 70 years of taking the path of least resistance.

A weak people deserve their fate.

Martin N.

NDPP wrote:

Trudeau's Claim of Victory in Trade Deal is Hollow - Canada Was Played.

https://t.co/PEmkc4WHyn

"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 the battle against the Romans. 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.

But not to put too fine a point on it, Canada has been played. 'It's the preservation of a 25-year-old status quo,' said James McIlroy, a trade consultant at McIlroy and McIlroy in Toronto. 'This is a silent job killer and it's not good for Canada.' 

In the words of Larry Kudlow, Trump's economics adviser: 'Canada gave very generously.' The Trudeau government has caved on just about everything, as the cost of preserving peace. This deal is fundamentally a story about the re-assertion of US power."

 

But from the perspective of  the meat-cutters who  have successfully completed their negotiations and agreement on the slaughter and butchery of the passive, compliant creature on the slab before them: 'It's a win-win deal.' For the creature, not so much.

If you are going to quote the National Post, at least give John Iveson his due. Whether he is right or the forces of the status quo are right that the deal is benign remains to be seen but Canada has surrendered no little sovereignty to the US.

I say no deal is better than this deal. I'd rather live in a free, poor country than live under the thumb of a greater power.

Pondering

Is Jerry Dias a good guy or a bad guy?

NDPP

My position has always been contra these deals. But our leaders are quite content with foreign domination especially since subservience to power and proficiency at lying are central to their success, their constituents don't overly protest and the remuneration and benefit packages are excellent.

Sean in Ottawa

This is an interesting thread in part becuase of what is not there.

Canada was beaten into submission, we are told, by the threat of two things: National security tariffs on steel and on autos. Everyone knows this. All sides accept this.

So Canada took a deal with all these concessions in exchange for what? A deal to concede?

Canada got no exemption on the steel -- it is considered an ongoing issue -- so the price for that still has to be paid. More concessions?

Canada got no protection from the security auto tariffs. As Trudeau puffed himself up and proclaimed we need this becuase Trump does not always play by the rules. Uhuh. But Liberals being Liberals are about talk. Great talk. Trudeau especially. But when it comes to substance it is not there. Canada signed away its little leverage without getting the whole point of the deal -- exemption from the hammer Trump threatened.

So in exchange for failing to protect some workers and farmers Trudeau has NOT protected others.

It did not have to be that way. Congress was not going to agree to throw Canada out like this and Trudeau could have waited for a more restrained Trump without GOP control to back his every lunacy.

So in sum: if you disliked NAFTA -- Canada got screwed.

If you liked NAFTA -- Canada got screwed.

Now since Trudeau aggravated Trump with his rhetoric but then stood down we got the worst of both worlds. Trump should not have kicked sand in the bully's face and then caved when confronted. Either he should have avoided the public attacks on Trump or seen them through.

You know what -- it would not be completely unfair to say -- "nice hair." That is what Canada got out of the negotiation. Posturing and bullshit from the Liberal party but a cave in when standing up was needed.

Liberals have become quite predictable. We should think twice before criticizing conservatives over the nice hair point becuase Trudeau is really NOT about substance and the point is now proven.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

This turns things upside down on so many levels.

While I always considered both the Liberals and the Conservatives to be neo-liberal free traders, I never thought I would have to give credit to a Conservative government over that of a Liberal one. The first 3 years of Harper's administration overlapped the Presidency of George W Bush. Both were ardent free traders. Harper would not have hesitated to privatize anything. Yet for some reason, he never touched supply management in dairy. It is also the reason that Andrew Scheer defeated Maxime Bernier for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Rather than learn that lesson, Trudeau has sold out our dairy farmers.

Tump campaigned on how bad NAFTA and the TPP was. One of his first acts was to withdraw the US from the TPP, a move which many on the left cheered. However, there has always been indications that he is a snake oil salesman on this front, since his business interests benefit from free trade. This here is the final nail in the coffin for the idea that Trump is a protectionist. At least Wisconsin dairy farmers will be happy with dumping their surplus into Canada.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected with great enthusiasm by the Mexican people last summer. Desipte that enthusiasm, he was very vague on elements of his platform, and in the area of taxation, was even to the right of Thomas Mulcair. He made some noise about trying to force the delay of the NAFTA negotiations, however how has made some noises that he will accept whatever the outgoing Mexican administration does. Obrador has been spoken of as Mexico's Bernie Sanders. I'm wondering if Barack Obama is the more accurate comparison.

Make no mistake. We need to stop this thing.

The Liberals werre damned if they did and damned if they didn't. Conservatives are going to use whatever the Liberals were STUCK with for political gain (duh)

The difference between 2018 and 2014 is an out of control narcissistic sociopath named Donald Trump and his criminal gang in the Republic party. They are an insurgence who went in front of the WORLD to proclaim they are not subject to INTERNATIONAL LAW. You think Canada had any leverage? Quit lying to yourself. The Liberals had no choice. We didn't just get fucked by the Liberals, we have been fucked by Trump and his Death Cult. It wouldn't make a damned difference if it were the Conservatives. We are attached to a criminal organization that are literal NAZIS and thus have no choice but to trade with them. We depend on them. Which is an inconveniencve we are stuck with.

Donald Trump fucked Canada.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..obrador doesn't take power until dec 1st. a quick deal was made with mexico to avoid him.

josh

Pondering wrote:

Is Jerry Dias a good guy or a bad guy?

He seems relatively content with it based on what’s not in there and the phasing out of chapter 11.

josh

NDPP wrote:

Trudeau's Claim of Victory in Trade Deal is Hollow - Canada Was Played.

https://t.co/PEmkc4WHyn

"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 the battle against the Romans. 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.

But not to put too fine a point on it, Canada has been played. 'It's the preservation of a 25-year-old status quo,' said James McIlroy, a trade consultant at McIlroy and McIlroy in Toronto. 'This is a silent job killer and it's not good for Canada.' 

In the words of Larry Kudlow, Trump's economics adviser: 'Canada gave very generously.' The Trudeau government has caved on just about everything, as the cost of preserving peace. This deal is fundamentally a story about the re-assertion of US power."

 

But from the perspective of  the meat-cutters who  have successfully completed their negotiations and agreement on the slaughter and butchery of the passive, compliant creature on the slab before them: 'It's a win-win deal.' For the creature, not so much.

Don’t go by what coke head Larry Kudlow says.  He’s almost as big a liar as Trump, and has a vested interest in talking up the deal.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..in an email from maude barlow

quote:

First, the good news. Thanks to Council of Canadians supporters like you fighting for trade that is truly fair, together over the last year we pushed relentlessly for and won two significant changes in this new deal:

  1. Chapter 11 between Canada and the U.S. is gone. The investor-state dispute settlement provisions that were in NAFTA 1.0 have allowed U.S. corporations to sue Canada for billions over policies and laws that infringed on corporate profits even if they were done in the public interest.
     
  2. Energy proportionality is also gone, which required Canada to send a set percentage of its energy resources to the U.S. even in times of shortages.

In addition to the elimination of these two harmful provisions, Canada was able to retain the cultural exemption clause from NAFTA 1.0. And there are promising signs of improved labour standards too, including increased wages and collective bargaining freedoms for Mexican workers, which the Council of Canadians also strongly advocated for in partnership with labour allies in the U.S. and Mexico.

These are major victories for all of us who sounded the alarm on how these dangerous provisions affect our ability to protect the public interest and the environment.

Unfortunately, the news isn’t all good.

Our farmers will pay a heavy price as NAFTA 2.0 opens Canada’s market to more U.S. dairy products, including products that contain bovine growth hormone (BGH), a genetically modified hormone that is injected in cows to make them produce more milk. BGH has been banned in Canada due to its link to serious health concerns.

There will be increased deregulation and harmonization of rules to accelerate approvals for massive pipelines to be built.

Patents on pharmaceuticals, like biologic drugs, have also been extended, which will mean it will take longer for generic drugs to get to the market. This will keep drug prices higher – and often unaffordable – for longer and could have an impact on Canada’s attempt to implement a national pharmacare plan.

NDPP

Ontario Minister for Economic Development Reacts to  Provisional USMCA Deal (and vid)

https://twitter.com/PnPCBC/status/1046891697290891264

"The President still has the authority at any time to usurp NAFTA, the new NAFTA, and to slap tariffs on any industry he wants. So we think they should have done a better job, and need to do a better job on dealing with the tariffs on steel and aluminum.

I think they should have worked a little harder and still need to work a little harder. It's not a final deal, it's a deal-in-principle. They've got 60 days before anyone has to sign and probably another year before Congress has to vote on this deal. You can't just leave 232 tariff power out there and say you have a free-trade agreement..."

Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

Ontario Minister for Economic Development Reacts to  Provisional USMCA Deal (and vid)

https://twitter.com/PnPCBC/status/1046891697290891264

"The President still has the authority at any time to usurp NAFTA, the new NAFTA, and to slap tariffs on any industry he wants. So we think they should have done a better job, and need to do a better job on dealing with the tariffs on steel and aluminum.

I think they should have worked a little harder and still need to work a little harder. It's not a final deal, it's a deal-in-principle. They've got 60 days before anyone has to sign and probably another year before Congress has to vote on this deal. You can't just leave 232 tariff power out there and say you have a free-trade agreement..."

Exactly -- this is just make-believe for the US election.

Now Canada can still say that it won't ratify without this gone. If the Liberals don't do that then they are stupid as well as dishonest.

Sean in Ottawa

Maybe the Liberals are just counting on Trump getting his party hammered in the election and plan on asserting removal of 232 before ratification. This might be a strategy just to avoid getting hit with some pre-election bullying for the crowd by Trump.

josh
NDPP

Walkom:  Nothing Free About New North American Trade Deal

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/10/02/nothing-free-a...

"..But the real problem with the USMCA is that, like NAFTA, it's a fraud. It doesn't guarantee the key benefit it promises: free trade access to the huge US market. True, Trump has effectively agreed not to use his extraordinary national security powers against the Canadian auto industry. But he is insistent on maintaining the right to slap arbitrary tariffs on anything else - as he has with steel and aluminum.

Whatever that is, it's not free trade."

NDPP

Did We Really Defeat Chapter 11 in NAFTA?

https://t.co/JZSzDWi0cN

"In the recently announced USMCA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump have reportedly agreed to 'phase out' the controversial Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement provision. But Brock University political science professor Blayne Haggart suggests that 'six year mandatory review' provisions in the USMCA has ominous implications in this regard..."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If anyone wants to understand what happens to industries that get left out of the main deal then they just need to study the history of BC's softwood lumber industry. Since NAFTA we have been repeatedly hammered and we now mostly ship raw logs to US sawmills.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada%E2%80%93United_States_softwood_lumb...

Martin N.

There is nothing in this deal that will stop Trump from grinding away at Canada and, even if there is, the Americans will simply ignore it.

Canada desperately needs to diversify its trade away from the US. The writing has been on the wall for decades, like softwood lumber, but complacent industry refuses to learn.

Our idiot-in-chief comes home with his ass in his hands and his nuts in a jar to proclaim victory. Any more victories like this one and Canada will be a banana republic with no bananas.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

josh wrote:

And the Trump official said the two sides had agreed to phase out the investor-state dispute settlement system, “Chapter 11,” that allows corporations to sue governments. Both the Trump administration and Trudeau disliked the system, though Trudeau had not said so publicly.

If true, that's something at least.

Except that if my takeaway from Duncan Cameron's article is correct, it looks as though the United States will have the power to simply ban Canada from doing much of what could have provoked a Chapter 11 challenge under NAFTA.

NDPP

Big Oil Wins With The USMCA

https://buff.ly/2O3Q0rh

"Big Oil appears to be a clear winner in the new USMCA reached by US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. In fact, the American Petroleum Institute, a Washington-based association representing oil and gas corporations, is already calling on the US Congress to approve the deal..."

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:
..obrador doesn't take power until dec 1st. a quick deal was made with mexico to avoid him.

Unless this new deal collapses, whoever holds the office of Mexican President isn't going to matter after that anyways.

NDPP

"Congratulations. We negotiated a new trade deal and we didn't lose our shirts."

https://twitter.com/deAdder/status/1047452604568162307

NDPP

'Our Government Sold Us Out'

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/ontario-dairy-farmer-usmca-1.485...

"Critics at Ontario agricultural fair fearful of USMCA. 'We're a 6th-generation dairy farm andd we're probably not going to survive this..."

NDPP

TRNN: NAFTA 2.0 Enshrines Deregulation For All of North America (and vid)

https://therealnews.com/stories/nafta-2-0-enshrines-deregulation-for-all...

"Trump's re-negotiated NAFTA, now called the USMCA, pushes food safety and other forms of deregulation to new extremes, making it more difficult to undo the damage even after Trump leaves office, says Peter Woodall of Food & Water Watch."

 

WARNING Label on New NAFTA: Green Light For GMOs!

https://twitter.com/TimothyAWise/status/1047591747340181504

"This agreement, like the TPP is designed to promote agricultural biotechnology and limit policies that help consumers avoid exposure to such products..."

NDPP

USMCA Will Mean More Genetically Modified Foods on Your Dinner Table

https://buff.ly/2E8llon

"It likely won't surprise many that a corporate rights agreement - namely the USMCA - promotes the foods engineered by transnational biotechnology corporations with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)..."

NDPP

USMCA: New Economic Alliance Formed to Isolate China

https://t.co/6TTUiiUm87

"What this agreement actually is, is a forerunner to an economic and trade alliance created in opposition to Beijing. Once it take effect after being approved by parliaments and Congress, the USMCA will be the first step an an anti-Chinese global campaign, followed by other deals aimed at the same goal..."

NorthReport

Does the USMCA benefit Canadian workers and if so how?

NDPP

CPC: New NAFTA Deal Tightens the Handcuffs on Working People

https://twitter.com/compartycanada/status/1049639022073696256

"The Communist Party of Canada calls on Parliament to refuse to ratify the USMCA, and we urge the labour and democratic movements to mobilize against this sellout of the interests of working people and farmers in Canada. Like NAFTA, the USMCA is a tool for transnational capital to step up its exploitation of workers and resources in all three countries..."

NDPP

A Multibillion Dollar Question: Is the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Still in Effect   -   by David Orchard & Marjaleena Repo

https://www.globalresearch.ca/a-multibillion-dollar-question-is-the-cana...

'The original NAFTA contained a clause that eroded Canada's sovereign control over our energy resources, known as the 'proportionality clause'. That is now gone.' By members of the House of Commons and various commentators, this claim has been repeated across the country. But is it really true that it is gone?"

NDPP

NAFTA's China Clause is Latest Blow to Trudeau's Asia Ambitions

https://twitter.com/profwolff/status/1048990589159702529

"Article 32.10 in just-signed NAFTA deal requires Canada, Mexico to get US OK to sign any trade deal with a 'non-market' economy (i.e.China). US targets China, demands all join or else. Is such economic warfare prelude to military war?"

NDPP

NAFTA 2.0: Imperilling People & Planet, Warnings Mount...

https://t.co/3D6Xju4JDD

"Critics warn the new agreement would make it harder to hold Big Oil And Gas accountable' while also threatening efforts to protect consumers, workers and the environment..."

NDPP

Trade Deal Concessions Threaten Jobs at Kingston Ont, Baby Formula Plant

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/feihe-future-usmca-1.4858338

"Chinese invested $225 million to make formula in Canada - before the US demanded pricing change, limitation on exports. The revised North American trade agreement restricts shipments of a product Canada isn't even exporting at the moment: infant formula. Why on earth would the US demand that? As with so many of the strategic priorities of the Trump administration, it's all about China..."

Just like the job-killing NAFTA, these good Canadian jobs are just the beginning of the vast casualties to come under USMCA. NO To NAFTA 2.0!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

US midterm results could delay new trade deal into 2020, watchers warn

Canadians are inspecting the new U.S. political landscape following midterm election results that many believe have added fresh trade-related uncertainty.

The Democrats' majority victory in the House of Representatives could mean the ratification of the recently struck United States-Mexico-Canada deal, known as USMCA, will have to wait well into 2019 — or even until 2020.

Experts predict the pact will eventually gain approval, but until it's ratified businesses will have to deal with considerable unknowns as they try to make longer-term decisions on export strategy and investments.

"There will be a lot of uncertainty for a number of months and that uncertainty is not good for Canadian business interests," said Lawrence Herman, a Toronto-based trade lawyer with Herman and Associates. "There is a chance that the Democrats would agree to have this deal approved. On the other hand, as we've heard, there are those in the Democratic party who don't want to give Trump and the Republicans any kind of break whatsoever."

Dan Ujczo, an Ohio-based international trade specialist, said it will be a "political miracle" to have the USMCA voted on in the spring.....

Sean in Ottawa

We are hearing that the reason Canada has not insisted on having the steel tarrifs removed is that Canada is so weak in terms of negotiating position that it cannot. Instead of demanding a truce in that debate, Canada is trying to keep it apart from the trade negotiations in the hop of preserving the auto trade. In short Canada has effectively accepted, under threat of tariffs on cars, that it can do nothing about the steel tarrifs for the moment. I wrote the below in a comment section:

The problem is not any current party or leader or position. It is the erosion in negotiating strength coupled with the realization that Canada cannot be protected by a presumption of goodwill coming from the US in an agreement Canada has come to rely on.

The over-reliance on the US was predicted in the 80s during the debate over the FTA. Canada had a choice between a diversification of trade with other countries together with maintenance of a more independent domestic economy and jumping into the FTA with the US. The latter offered more immediate wealth but greater dependence over the long term. We are now paying the price and the debate over that choice will continue. The FTA brought benefits but this was the cost. Canada gained new and larger trade at the cost of business independent of US trade that got swamped.   

Few predicted that the US, long considered an ally, would turn on Canada in the way Trump has. Realization that we are not close enough friends to avoid being bullied is dawning. Arguably, it was a matter of time and it may not have been so rude but it was coming.

Independent from the trade agreement, Canada's negotiating position has deteriorated. Canada always expected that its position as an energy powerhouse would prevent bullying from a more powerful partner. This position has changed drastically. Conservation, renewables, and a decline in US manufacturing has reduced draw on energy below expectations of the 80s. Increased drilling and the explosion of fracking has changed the equation dramatically. Canada is left without significant power in the relationship.

The problem, few want to face is that while Trump is rude, Canada may not do much better with the Democrats who might be more polite and less public about our new inferior position.

The problem with hoping that the Democrats will treat us better is that they are also elected to get the best for their constitutents and effectively must compete with the republicans in that regard.

Trudeau's government, I think is well aware of this. In fact the US president is rude enough that his blackmail has exposed the position of Canada so completely that pretending to hide it is impossible (although The Trudeau government is trying, pretending that the steel and NAFTA discussions were not related). Trudeau can do little else other than mitigate by on the one hand denying the connection that Trump has proclaimed and is patently obvious and on the other hand desperately seeking any trade opportunities it can elsewhere.

One area that might have been possible (and may still be) is a deal with China. No, a comprehensive deal would be blocked but not the kind of deal I am talking about. Canada is in bed with the US due to the auto sector more than any other single industry. Imagine if Canada decided to look at an laternative to the model of branch plants of US car makers? The Chinese are now the cutting edge in terms of an affordable electric car. Others are working on building these cars, but the Chinese are investing enough money to make an electric car cheaper than a gas car. Their largest automaker is well on its way. A deal with Canada would provide a leg up to China in marketing globally (Canada has a decent "brand"), selling into North America, meeting North American and global quality standards etc. A partnership between Canada and Geeley with a government of Canada investment, could renew the auto-sector in Canada and make it more independent of the US. A deal to build an affordable electric car in massive volume would go a long way to help meet Canada's emissions targets.

True, the Chinese would be difficult to deal with. Canada should accept that that is the nature of any foreign partnership. However, having the Chinese balance the US more would return to Canada some of the negotiating strength it has lost. Any return to China in terms of technology Canada may provide, would be of benefit to the world's environment. I cannot see the Chinese being threatened by having plants in Canada locked in for a generation. This could be a deal that benefits both Canada and China. and it is not the kind of  FTA that the US could have any say about.

 

 

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