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Canada PM Trudeau rejects Trump's proposal to scrap NAFTA

08 June 2018

The agreement governs trade between the US, Canada and Mexico.

"With Brazil we don't have the sanitary measures".

But before leaving Washington, he made clear that he too has no intention of backing down on his plan to rebalance trade by imposing tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods imported from USA allies.

Pleas by the G7 member countries for exemptions from the United States steel and aluminum tariffs, which went into effect on June 1, have fallen on deaf ears in Washington.

Earlier this week, China renewed its promise to impose import duties on an additional $50 billion worth of USA goods, including more agricultural products, if the US pushes forward with potential tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

That put it behind only Canada in terms of the value of U.S. exports.

About 40 percent of the state's processing-tomato exports go to Canada, although it's unclear how much of that is ketchup and tomato sauce, items that are specifically targeted for the retaliatory tariffs.

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"What credibility can a negotiation on the North Korean nuclear program have if we undo the negotiations of three years ago on the Iranian nuclear program?" he asked.

As speculation started flying last month that a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was nearly across the finish line, the White House is now throwing a curve ball in the negotiations, deciding to move forward with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico. However, the Mexican economy relies more on trade than does the USA economy, with about 80 percent of its exports sold to America.

"A 20% tariff eliminates our ability to compete effectively in Mexico", said Jim Heimerl, the trade group's president and a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio.

California farmers, he said, face a host of pressures and "trade has been the bright spot", noting that in 2016, the state exported almost half of what it produced in farm-gate value.

The group says that there are 110,000 USA jobs directly tied to U.S. pork exports to Mexico as well as to other countries.

Trump has since mused about replacing NAFTA with bilateral trade deals with Canada and Mexico - an idea Trudeau said Wednesday is not on.

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"Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!"

But Canada, which is a country that buys more United States goods and services than it exports here, also will put tariffs on a wide variety of consumer products, ranging from ballpoint pens and dishwasher detergent to toilet paper and playing cards.

The topic led off debate Tuesday in the House of Commons, where Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer criticized the Liberals for announcing retaliatory tariffs that don't take effect until July 1 -a full month behind the US measures. U.S. denim, bourbon, motorcycles, peanut butter, motor boats and cigarettes will cost more in Europe as a result.

But since coming to office in January 2017, Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal and the TPP Pacific free trade deal.

Mr Macron said: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone".

Dairy and products represented the No. 1 California agricultural export to Mexico in 2016, with a value of about $421 million-but it is unclear how much of those exports were in the form of cheese.

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Canada PM Trudeau rejects Trump's proposal to scrap NAFTA