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I need to learn about NAFTA ASAP

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Bloomberg has an article about Clause 32.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-04/nafta-s-china-clause-is-latest-blow-to-trudeau-s-asia-ambitions?srnd=premium-canada

Article 32.10 is already a source of debate domestically. The government of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, wrote to Freeland this week asking how the clause will “affect future trade deals between Canada and other nations.” Trudeau’s foreign minister defended the deal in her response. “Nothing in this agreement infringes on Canada’s sovereign right to develop commercial relations with any country of its choosing,” she wrote.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
from one of the US right wing finance rags I see....


THE USMCA: IT’S INCREMENTAL;

NOT REVOLUTIONARY: The new

NAFTA… which is now officially known as the USMCA;

the US, Mexico, Canada Agreement… is hardly a

revolutionary new, leap forward but is, Instead, an

agreement amongst the parties to do as little as

possible to disturb the successes enjoyed by the three

countries that have evolved since the original NAFTA

went into effect two decades ago. Despite President

Trump’s diatribes against the NAFTA… which proved

one again, as his Base has accepted his comments

without dissent from within, that if you tell a falsehood

often enough it can be accepted as the truth by many…

the economies of the US, Canada and Mexico all

benefitted from the trade agreement broadly but of

course with some specific areas of each country’s

economy faring badly. GDP’s in

all three nations are

demonstrably higher since the

passage of the original NAFTA.

On balance and clearly, we are

all the better for the NAFTA.

Hence, we are glad to see that

so little has been changed.

To this end we have included here this morning some

of the better comments we’ve read of late regarding the

new USMCA, beginning with the comments from

Professor Christoph Kukucha of the Department of

Political Science at the Lethbridge University in

Lethbridge, Alberta. Professor Kukucha said

Canada’s foreign-trade policy is very

incremental. The new trade agreement is a

continuation of this strategy. It isn’t a

progressive agreement in terms of

changing rules-based language on

anything significant. Nor is it profoundly

transformative. I have a lot of respect for

the Canadian negotiators. They’re very

professional. They did a very good job

pushing right to the very end and keeping

the things they thought were priorities.

What’s concerning to me, though, about the

new agreement isn’t so much issue specific

but rather how the agreement unfolded and

what it means for Canada’s future trade

negotiations.

I was a graduate student when NAFTA was

negotiated, and the same things that were

discussed back then—how to protect US

jobs and interests—are still being

discussed now. That protectionism is still

bubbling under the surface. The US and the

Trump administration did a great job of

tapping into those sentiments and setting

the parameters of the negotiation before it

started. This was a defensive negotiation

from the get-go for Canada; there was no

real room for us to pursue offensive

interests. For me, that’s the bigger concern

here: we were negotiating from a defensive

position from the outset. We can’t allow it

to set the tone for how we’ll go into these

agreements in the future

Next, and from the political center, we note what Prof.

Debra Steger… a professor of law at the University of

Ottawa, and a senior fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute…

had so say regarding the USMCA. She wrote,

The new trade agreement is a “win” for

Canada, given the stark alternative: no

agreement at all and devastating tariffs on

autos. Continuation of NAFTA is critically

important for our country’s economy. In the

past few weeks, much of the focus was on

specific issues such as dairy, Chapter 19,

and culture. But, frankly, those issues are

small when considered in light of the

overall trade relationship between the US

and Canada. Dairy, for example, is less than

1 percent of trade. In the end, what is

important is the new agreement’s effects on

the economy and consumers.

The USMCA is a very lengthy, complex

agreement, so there’s much to review and

consider. The major takeaway is that the

agreement preserves and maintains

NAFTA. However, it does not appear to be a

significant improvement over NAFTA.

Canada won the hard-fought battles to

maintain Chapter 19 and the supply

management system (allowing minimal

greater access for US exporters to

Canada’s dairy market). But forwardlooking

proposals made by Canada—such

as promoting a progressive trade agenda—

unfortunately were not adopted. Still, the

fact that there is a trilateral agreement is in

itself a victory. Properly implemented, the

USMCA could bring predictability, stability,

and security to trading relations in North

America.

As for those who find fault with the new agreement…

which we continue to view as NAFTA 2.0 given that we

see very little change in this new agreement compared

to NAFTA 1.0… we note what the dairy industry had to

say and as one might expect the protected Canadian

dairy industry is not at all happy. For the dairymen’s’

view we turn to Mr. David Weins, the Vice President of

the Dairy Farmers of Canada association, who said

The new trade agreement is a pretty

devastating hit for Canada’s dairy industry.

We’re very disappointed. It will eliminate

Class 7, a price structure that applies to

ingredients such as protein concentrates,

skim milk, and whole-milk powder and was

introduced last year to help address a

surplus. Without Class 7, we won’t be able

to fully pursue the Canadian market. It will

shrink our industry. There has been no real

acknowledgment of that.

The deal is being positioned as a good one

for Canada, with small concessions to our

dairy industry, but the way I see it, the deal

will make it more difficult for us to grow the

industry. What about the young families

who are looking to be the future of our

industry? We estimate that, with the

cumulative impact of previous trade deals,

total imports will now make up 18 percent

of dairy market—a loss of $1.2 billion for

farmers every year. This deal makes it

impossible for us to compete in our market.

I don’t think any of this is a good thing for

consumers either. We understand what is

important to our consumers in Canada.

Canadians consumers care how their food

is produced. In Canada, for example, we do

not use the growth hormone rBST, but they

do use it regularly in the US. The hormone

is meant to increase the milk production of

every cow. Farmers here don’t want to use

it because we don’t think it’s a good thing—

and even if it were used, we also know that

Canadian consumers don’t want it in their

milk. But, soon, we’ll be getting more milk

in from the US, and isn’t like the cartons will

all have a US flag on them. How will

Canadian consumers know what they’re

getting? Certainly, going forward, it’s going

to become even more important for us to

clearly identify our products as Canadian.

We expect President Trump to refrain from any further

comments on the USMCA; he’s said enough, and he is

not… we hope… prepared to skewer the good for the

sake of his perceived “perfect.” The USMCA is good;

let’s leave well enough alone and let the markets sort

things out.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
"GDP’s in all three nations are demonstrably higher since the passage of the original NAFTA.
Ultimately this is a True Fact but the biggest problem with free trader's pet narratives the last few decades has been looking at the top line numbers after trade liberalisation and not the industry by industry, sector by sector view.

Its just too high a level to say much more than: "NAFTA likely didn't destroy the overall economy and maybe even helped it."

Of course buried in the details here are the contextual factors of deep economic malaise across Middle America, the Forgotten Man, the Rust Belt, economic displacement and a very fertile ground for the rise of extremist right-wing populism.

So lets not all sit around and pretend that top line GDP numbers tell us the story of neo liberalism and free trade and the success of NAFTA in the 90s and the 00s.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Ultimately this is a True Fact but the biggest problem with free trader's pet narratives the last few decades has been looking at the top line numbers after trade liberalisation and not the industry by industry, sector by sector view.

Its just too high a level to say much more than: "NAFTA likely didn't destroy the overall economy and maybe even helped it."

Of course buried in the details here are the contextual factors of deep economic malaise across Middle America, the Forgotten Man, the Rust Belt, economic displacement and a very fertile ground for the rise of extremist right-wing populism.

So lets not all sit around and pretend that top line GDP numbers tell us the story of neo liberalism and free trade and the success of NAFTA in the 90s and the 00s.
Not certain it's a "free trader narrative" but just the media talking point. National trade transactions and movements have always been there for someone to dig deeper. It's a whole different ballgame when you bother to go beyond the talking points.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
USTR Robert Lighthizer is holding an off camera press briefing, and he says steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place. Says there are negotiations but ultimately want to protect Trump’s steel and aluminum programs they see as successful.
 
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