August 21, 2018

U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal Could Nix Tariffs

 |  By: Mike Opperman

A bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, the first domino to fall in completing NAFTA 2.0, is imminent. That agreement could mean the end of the 232 tariffs put in place last month. Many of those tariffs include dairy products, particularly cheese.

“There’s some expectation that a preliminary deal between the U.S. and Mexico will be enough to get Trump to grant Mexico an exemption from the administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum exports,” Politico reports. “That could also incentivize Canada to more swiftly to wrap up the talks.”

Even as the U.S. and Mexico close in on a deal, Canadian negotiators remain on the sideline. Experts are apprehensive about Canada joining the trade conversations before a deal between the U.S. and Mexico is complete.

“Canada will most likely – but let’s say most likely in italics – be back this week,” a source close to the talks told Politico.

Most controversial topics are being left toward the end of the negotiations, including government procurement and the sunset clause being pushed by President Trump. And in order for a complete NAFTA deal to be done, the U.S. and Canada have to work out their own issues, including a deal around dairy. 

According to Politico, a new poll from Canadian research firm Pollara shows that 56% of adults surveyed approve of Prime Minister Trudeau’s handling of the renegotiation.

“The survey reinforces the view that Canadians, who are unhappy that Trump hit them with steel and aluminum tariffs based on national security grounds – shouldn’t be willing to submit to whatever Trump wants when it comes to NAFTA,” Politico reports. “And as Washington and Mexico City prepare to bring Ottawa back into the mix, the poll is a reminder that reaching a trilateral consensus on a reworked deal will involve complicated political considerations for Ottawa that could prevent things from being worked out as quickly or as easily as some would like.”


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