US, Mexico reach trade "understanding", Trump threatens to cut out Canada

Marcus Newton
August 28, 2018

Trump said that Canada wanted to join a trade deal, but if they failed to reach an agreement he would place heavy tariffs on imports of cars from Canada. The hope is to have a deal for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign before he leaves office, and the more left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes over as president.

He said it would be replaced in part by the newly named United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted just before the announcement that he spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the status of NAFTA negotiations and progress the US and Mexico have made, and expressed the importance of his involvement in the negotiations. The announcement of a U.S. -Mexico agreement lifted financial markets.

Al Jazeera's John Holman, reporting from Mexico City, said outgoing President Nieto "probably had to make sacrifices" to protect a trade agreement with the U.S., with a possible effect being the flight of vehicle manufacturing companies from the country.

He added that "given the encouraging announcement today of further bilateral progress between the United States and Mexico, [Foreign Affairs] Minister [Chrystia] Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to continue negotiations". Once Canada rejoins the talks, there will be at least another week of work, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The U.S. agreed to keep the 2.5 per cent tariff now applied under World Trade Organization rules if the cars are made at factories that already exist, according to two people familiar with the plans, who asked not to be named discussing private negotiations.

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"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best.they're bringing those problems with us", he said at a campaign rally.

"I think we're at a position where we're going to have discussions with Canada this week and see where we get to", the official said, referring reporters to Mexico to describe their position.

Republican lawmaker Kevin Brady, chairman of the tax and trade-focused Ways and Means Committee, called on Canada to return to talks quickly "with the aim of concluding a modern, seamless three-way agreement". Even once Canada agrees, any NAFTA deal between the three countries would have to be ratified.

US Mexico NAFTA agreement includes 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs. He said the trade deal between Mexico and the United States "was the largest trade deal ever made". Canada has not been involved in the negotiations for several months.

During a televised call on Monday with Peña Nieto, Trump praised the trade deal. Trump says negotiations with Canada have yet to begin and is calling on the country to negotiate fairly.

"This is something very positive for the United States and Mexico", Pena Nieto replied, saying he is looking forward to toasting Trump with tequila to celebrate, expressing to his American counterpart that he is "really grateful and greatly recognize and acknowledge your political will in all of this".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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