March 18, 2018

Mexico says NAFTA talks separate from Trump's tariffs policy

09 March 2018, 11:08 | Christie Tate

Nafta collapse risk pushes Mexico to diversify exports destinations

NAFTA talks on autos eyed for next week: Mexico negotiator

In the meantime, it would be well for Canadian trade officials to look at expanding Canada's marketplace elsewhere, such as to Europe, and perhaps the biggest market of all, the Pacific rim encompassing Southeast Asia with its many densely-populated countries that could be buying much more of our products.

In a statement, Mexico's economy ministry said Guajardo had discussed possible USA steel import tariffs with Ross, as well as bilateral agreements over tomatoes and sugar.

The Trump administration is slated this week to implement tariffs on all steel and aluminum imported into the country above the objections of close US allies, economists, national security experts and even Republican lawmakers.

Trump should "have focused more on China and less on Canada and our trading partners that have played more fair", Brown added.

Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs for the time being, and other U.S. allies will be allowed to apply to be let off. She said the Canadian position remains as it was from the beginning, which is to work in good faith for the amount of time it takes to get a good deal.

"We have not achieved the progress we expected", he said.

Trump's zero-sum game view of trade is simply inaccurate, Fast said.

The steel coming from Hamilton is not Canadian. These new tariffs would charge 10 percent for aluminum, and 25 percent on steel.

"We won't be making that public until we see exactly what (the Americans) are going to do", he said. On Monday morning, the president went after one of those allies, criticizing America's northern neighbor as a trade conflict between Washington and Ottawa nears. "So I actually think this is long overdue", said Democratic candidate Conor Lamb.

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Mulroney also said negotiations between Canada, the USA and Mexico to modernize NAFTA are tough but improving - and now is not the time to make threats.

President Donald Trump said Monday he won't back away from a promise he made a week ago to introduce new tariffs for foreign-made steel and aluminum - a measure, he says, to protect American industry workers. Lindsey Graham said the sweeping action would let China "off the hook", adding the tariffs would drive a wedge between the USA and its allies.

But the same official said it truly is a matter of national security - with six US aluminum smelters shutting down the last few years, and just five remaining, and only two operating at full capacity, he said that leaves the risk of having to import all its aluminum eventually.

Statistics from the Office of the United States Trade Representative refute Trump's claim of a trade deficit.

The tariffs, according to the White House official, will see steel and aluminum makers restarting factories, significantly increasing production and hiring hundreds of workers.

Guajardo said on social media site Twitter that "México shouldn't be included in steel [and] aluminium tariffs".

Higher inflation resulting from tariffs and follow-up actions could also push central bankers to raise interest rates at a faster pace.

"The goal of retaliation in trade wars like this is to leverage particular congressional districts that influence the president, that influence the administration in how they're carrying out these things", said Sarah Goldfeder, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group and a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

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