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Energy Industry Awaiting Details on Tentative U.S.-Mexico Trade Pact

01 September, 2018, 19:24 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Trump has been a frequent critic of NAFTA calling it the

President Donald Trump has been negotiating with the U.S.'s neighbors to the north and south. Mexico, the US, and Canada have been trying to negotiate a new trade deal for about a year. -Mexican discussions, Canada's team is back in full force in the American capital for the first time since the spring and Freeland says the negotiators are intensively focused on finding new areas of compromise.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will arrive in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The pressure came one day after the USA president again blasted the Canadian dairy industry during his announcement of a trade agreement with Mexico that he said could replace NAFTA.

Donald Trump's administration is giving Canada until Friday to sign onto a bilateral trade deal between the US and Mexico or be treated as "a real outsider" against whom punishing tariffs on autos will be imposed.

As she emerged from the high-stakes meeting with her USA counterpart Wednesday in Washington, Freeland emphasized the "compromises" by Mexico in their bilateral trade deal with the U.S.to increase the wages of its auto workers.

Despite some contentious issues still on the table, the increasingly positive tone contrasted with U.S. President Donald Trump's harsh criticism of Canada in recent weeks, raising hopes that the year-long talks will conclude soon with a trilateral agreement.

Two key issues for the US and Canada are dairy and anti-dumping dispute panels.

But Canada is a dominant exporter of crude oil to the United States: It accounts for 47 percent of the barrels imported to the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And I think that we're going to look closely at some of the other things that have been agreed to between the USA and Mexico and see just whether or not they can be made to work in the Canadian context.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he thought the Friday deadline could be met. The proposed deal between Mexico and the United States intensifies pressure on Canada to agree to the same terms.

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The 24-year-old NAFTA, which also includes Mexico and is integral to the continent's economy, has been under renegotiation for more than 12 months.

Ricketts said he emphasized the importance of NAFTA during the visit, and has previously encouraged USA officials to finalize an agreement.

The crucial phase of talks began Tuesday continuing late into the night, and Trudeau expressed optimism the countries could reach agreement by the end of the week.

Freeland said Canada was "extremely involved" in the progress that was made between the US and Mexico over the summer. "If Canada doesn't sign on, it's a problem". "It will either be a tariff on cars, or it will be a negotiated deal; and frankly a tariff on cars is a much easier way to go, but perhaps the other would be much better for Canada".

The White House has said Trump will sign the deal 90 days after notification. "And we gave 'till Friday and I think we're probably on track". He also warned that the USA and Mexico would move forward bilaterally without Canada.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly pledged to protect dairy farmers, but Canada has opened up limited access to its dairy market in previous trade talks, including its comprehensive pact with the European Union.

Markets appear unconcerned, with Canadian auto-parts makers Linamar Corp. and Magna International Inc. extending gains Tuesday - signaling a bet Canada will make the cut on a final deal and that the Mexico problems were the biggest ones that needed fixing. "He's never going to get that from the Congress". Trump himself has avoided directly calling for the dismantling of supply management during his frequent attacks on Canadian dairy, including during Monday's announcement with Mexico.

Shortly after Trump's first State of the Union address, in which he barely mentioned energy issues, API's Mark Green urged the administration in a blog post to recognize how the US oil and gas industry has benefited from NAFTA, specifically, by opening markets for USA crude, natural gas and finished products.



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