NAFTA: Trump suggests separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico

President Donald Trump is ready to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), whose renegotiation with Canada and Mexico seems to be bogged down, by separate bilateral agreements with each of its two partners, he launched Friday.

“I would not mind having a separate agreement with Canada […] and another with Mexico,” said Mr. Trump on the lawn of the White House after his meeting with an official from North Korean, General Kim Yong-chol. He had already mentioned this possibility in the event of a failure to renegotiate NAFTA.

“These are two very different countries,” he said, reiterating that NAFTA, in effect since 1994, had been “a lamentable deal for the United States from day one.”

“We are losing a lot of money with Canada and we are losing a fortune with Mexico. It will not happen anymore, “warned the US president.

In the name of “national security,” the Trump administration this week imposed duties of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, Mexico, and Canada. 28 countries of the European Union, yet allies of the United States.

They are our allies, but they abuse us economically. […] Behind closed doors, they basically tell me: “We can not believe that we have been able to enjoy it so long!”

Donald Trump, President of the United States

“If you look at the kind of tariffs that the European Union imposes and we do not impose, you will see that it is not a fair trade,” said Trump. “I want a fair trade. I like free trade, but I want it to be right. It’s a minimum.”

It was Thursday that came into force US tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. On the same day, Justin Trudeau’s government responded with similar measures, for up to C $ 16.6 billion , the equivalent of the total Canadian steel and aluminum exports to the United States. In 2017. These surcharges will come into effect in July.

Mexico also plans to impose tariffs on various US goods, including flat steel.

Canada and the European Union lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday against the imposition of US tariffs.

Little progress in discussions

Earlier this week, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned empty – handed from a meeting on the renegotiation of NAFTA in Washington with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Mexico was not represented in these discussions.

At the same time, Ms. Freeland argued that Canada and Mexico should continue to be exempt from US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. In vain.

Lighthizer said the renegotiation of NAFTA could continue next year.

Recent exchanges have included rules on the origin of motor vehicles , a stumbling block that persists.

Canada, Mexico, and the United States have worked relentlessly until now in the hope of securing an agreement in time for the current US Congress to vote on a new version of NAFTA and that the record be settled before the general elections in Mexico on July 1.

But the hope of reaching an agreement seems to be dwindling.

In the defense of American farmers
US President Donald Trump had already attacked Canada, earlier Friday, accusing him in a tweet early “very badly treat” US farmers and impose very restrictive trade measures.

“They have to open their markets and break down their trade barriers! They have a huge trade surplus with us, “Trump wrote.

The US president also briefly alluded to softwood lumber litigation, which has plagued American-Canadian trade relations for years.

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Tim Galo

About the Author: Tim Galo

Tina Galo is a reporter for Clear Publicist. After graduating from college, Tim got an internship at NPR and worked as a reporter and sound engineer. Tim has also worked as a reporter for VICE. Tim covers entertainment and community events for Clear Publicist.