Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Canada's Trudeau rejects U.S. proposal for bilateral trade pact

Trump wants separate trade deals with Canada, Mexico, says adviser Kudlow Mnuchin urged Trump to exempt Canada from steel and aluminum tariffs: Sources
Sammy Stanley | 07 June, 2018, 21:54

Anastassia Beliakova, head of trade policy at the British Chamber of Commerce, said that tariffs and anti-dumping measures that the United States government has imposed could yield immediate effects that "may appeal to Mr. Trump", but are not the answer. Canadian broadcaster CBC also confirmed that the conversation took place. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" referring to the War of 1812. But after rebelling against the British, the United States was suddenly on its own, as it faced trade restrictions by both the British and the French who were fighting each other in the Napoleonic wars at the time.

Mexico has published the tariffs it is imposing on products imported from the USA in response to the Trump administration's duties on Mexican steel and aluminium.

The US tariffs have been condemned by nations across the world, with Canada last week announcing it will impose tariffs on as much as $C16.6 billion of US steel, aluminium and other products from July 1.

Trudeau has denounced the "national security" justification for the new tariffs.

The White House declined to comment, according to CNN.

Canada has filed formal challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and at the World Trade Organization.

"It is laughable to say that Canada, France... can represent a threat to America's national security, as we are the best allies that the United States has had for a long time", Trudeau said.

Mr Trudeau has opposed Mr Trump's steel and aluminium sanctions and questioned America's claim that they are needed in the interests of national security.

Trump said he would raise the issue of USA auto imports with Abe at a meeting in Washington.

Macron stressed however that the United States was no longer the sole economic superpower in the world and urged other industrialized countries to stick together.

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"It does not detract from the friendship we have for each other and the friendship between our two countries", he said.

But critics of Mnuchin's approach say the new CFIUS legislation would be a weak substitute for the investment curbs the White House is considering in its trade dispute with China. "Canada believes in hoping for the best and preparing for the worst".

This is elementary school history, and we can now confirm what we all knew already: Trump would get waxed on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? "It will start to hurt American workers, the cost of raw materials will rise and industry will become less competitive".

They also said they expected Trump to come under increasing pressure at home to reverse the tariffs, which they said would hurt USA interests.

"His preference now - and he asked me to convey this - is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately", Kudlow said.

And tariffs like those on Kentucky bourbon and motorcycles seem meant to hit key members of Congress where they live - namely, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the home of Harley-Davidson.

USA stocks, apart from those of steel and aluminum producers, have fallen sharply in response to Trump's recent tariff announcements and other actions against trading partners.

With a trade war looming as a result of Trump's recent protectionist moves, now is probably not the right time to be making those kind of jokes.

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