Trump administration prepares to notify Congress of US-Mexico trade agreement

Trump administration prepares to notify Congress of US-Mexico trade agreement

The US and Canada aim to reach an agreement on a revised NAFTA intact by today. If the two are

trump nafta

Photo: EFE-EPA/ Shawn Thew

The US and Canada aim to reach an agreement on a revised NAFTA intact by today.

If the two are unable to resolve their differences, President Donald Trump says he will notify Congress that he intends to sign a bilateral deal with Mexico, although he has left the door open for Canada to join at a later date. While it is expected that Canada will not reject the changes agreed to by the US and Mexico, which mostly focus on auto tariffs, some key sticking points remain.

Primarily, the US wants Ottawa to reduce existing protections for Canadian farmers. Indeed, Canada currently averages a steep 249% tariff on dairy products. The US has also targeted Canadian tariffs on poultry, eggs and wine. For its part, Canada wants to resolve disagreements over a trade dispute mechanism and intellectual property protections.

Despite Mr Trump’s threat to push on without Canada, a deal without Washington’s northern neighbour would be difficult to swallow. Canada remains the US’ second largest trading partner, accounting for some $341 billion in exports last year. As such, do not expect Ottawa to roll over easily to Washington’s demands; concessions will have to be mutual.

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