Trump appears to be close to a major breakthrough with Mexico on a NAFTA replacement trade deal:
The Trump administration is close to striking a deal with Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, analysts said, but thorny issues are yet to be resolved with Canada, the third party in the trilateral pact.
Reaching an agreement with Mexico would mark a breakthrough for the administration after a year of roller-coaster talks and tension with its longtime North American trading partners. President Trump has frequently threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, linked the renegotiations to his call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and slapped tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel to apply pressure to make concessions.
But both Mexico and the U.S. have strong incentives to push through a deal quickly. Mexico wants to lock in an agreement before its new leftist president takes office, and the White House is keen on achieving a win on trade ahead of the midterm elections.
Canada, meanwhile, has shown less urgency to complete a revision of the 24-year-old pact, but is expected to return to the bargaining table once the U.S. and Mexico settle their differences.
And then the question will be “whether Canada is finally willing to reengage in the process, sign off on what has been agreed and quickly resolve any key outstanding issues of concern to Canada,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
The understanding with Mexico would raise the regional-content level to 70 percent or higher and set a similar rule of origin for steel and aluminum in vehicles. The new rules also would include language aimed at having more cars and parts produced by workers who make wages well above the average low rates in Mexico. The hope is that more jobs would stay in the U.S. and that European and Japanese automakers would source more parts in the U.S. to avoid the tariffs.
In June, the CBC accidentally confirmed that Canada was simply refusing to talk to the US. The above article spins this as Canada waiting for the US and Mexico to come to an agreement. I think the more likely explanation is that Trudeau, who is an idiot, has simply doubled down and is refusing to negotiate with the “Great Satan,” Trump, smug in the certainty he will be impeached and removed next year.
I think what is going to happen is that if Trudeau still refuses to talk after a deal with Mexico is worked out, Trump will withdraw from NAFTA and simply push through a bilateral trade deal with Mexico, while leaving Canada to twist in the wind.
When Trudeau resigns or is beaten in an election, hopefully a saner Canadian government will come to the bargaining table to get a deal done. I think it’s really ironic that AMLO, who presents a much more radical leftist “face” to the world, appears to be more willing to talk to Trump and behave in a moderate way than our supposed ally Canada.