NAFTA is dead. So now what?

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ghariton
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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ghariton » 14 Dec 2017 11:35

Taggart wrote:
14 Dec 2017 07:39
Well, if you can't trade drugs within NAFTA, with lot's of government help, at least you can purposely sell addictive food and get people overweight and sick.
Yes.

The other problem with NAFTA, if you read the article carefully, is that it raised the income levels of rural Mexicans. Before, they were mostly vegetarians, and could afford meat seldom and processed foods even less often. Now, with higher incomes, they are indulging themselves.
The last sentence in the article says it all:

“Look at us,” the elder Mr. Ruiz said, as he sheepishly polished off the remains of a chocolate sundae. “We’re all educated people but we’re hooked.”
Yes again. I think it's the lack of education, or if you prefer the slowness in adapting to a more "modern" environment, that is primarily responsible, much more so than NAFTA.

But it's much more satisfying, and consistent with one's ideology, to blame free trade, whether one is on the left or on the right.

Just another straw in the wind, but I think that vast swaths of the population have become protectionist, especially in North America. We will see no new trade deals for a long time, and indeed the existing agreements will come under increasing pressure.

I think of this as Maud Barlow's revenge.

George
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ghariton
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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ghariton » 12 Jan 2018 14:34

As the world spins...
Justin Trudeau’s “progressive” trade agenda — the insistence on including gender parity and Aboriginal issues in trade negotiations with the United States — is being cited as a barrier to progress by senior figures in the U.S. administration, according to people familiar with the matter.

Donald Trump’s top dealmakers are said to be complaining that Canada is not negotiating and that, in the event of a collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a bilateral deal with Mexico might be easier than one with Canada because it is willing to be flexible on U.S. content requirements.

The attempt to impose progressive chapters on labour, the environment and women into a prospective free trade deal with China scuttled those prospects last month.

But a senior Canadian government official said the idea that NAFTA is in trouble because of two chapters out of the 28 being negotiated is “total nonsense.”
Two chapters out of 28 may not be an insurmountable stumbling block, but given all of the other problems, should we really have added this one?

Apparently, some progress is being made. But -- no surprise -- some sacred cows remain, er, sacred:
The trickiest subjects on which no progress has been made are supply management and government procurement.
Narrow special interest groups look as if they will triumph again over the general public interest. Unless, you are in one of those groups, there may be a spot of rough sailing ahead.

George
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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by Mordko » 13 Jan 2018 10:26

Canada has taken US to WTO... on behalf of other countries.

Really? At the time when the future of our economy and the livelihood of every Canadian is being decided as part of the NAFTA negotiations? Does China need Canada to protect Chinese trade interests in the US?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canada- ... -1.4480738

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ghariton » 13 Jan 2018 12:29

I get the impression that the present government has given up on renegotiating NAFTA (or was never serious in the first place). Perhaps they are secretly pleased. After all, they are looking for the left-wing vote, and the left, by and large, is against free trade (see for example Bernie Saunders for an explicit statement).

So iof free trade is going down the tubes, you might as well get some symbolic mileage out of it. Impress your supporters, and potential recruits, with how tough you are, how you stand up to the United States (and to Donald Trump, never mind that these trade disputes antedate him by decades). Show how progressive you are -- perfect opportunities for virtue signaling, and little or no cost, since, after all, who wants free trade anyway?

I find it interesting that the principal Canadian commentator on the NAFTA negotiations is Jerry Diaz, the President of Unifor, and a very strong opponent of freer trade.

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by Shurville » 13 Jan 2018 18:40

ghariton wrote:
13 Jan 2018 12:29
I get the impression that the present government has given up on renegotiating NAFTA (or was never serious in the first place). Perhaps they are secretly pleased. After all, they are looking for the left-wing vote, and the left, by and large, is against free trade (see for example Bernie Saunders for an explicit statement).

So iof free trade is going down the tubes, you might as well get some symbolic mileage out of it. Impress your supporters, and potential recruits, with how tough you are, how you stand up to the United States (and to Donald Trump, never mind that these trade disputes antedate him by decades). Show how progressive you are -- perfect opportunities for virtue signaling, and little or no cost, since, after all, who wants free trade anyway?

I find it interesting that the principal Canadian commentator on the NAFTA negotiations is Jerry Diaz, the President of Unifor, and a very strong opponent of freer trade.

George
I find it strange that Diaz has that position. There is little reason for Ford ,GM and Fiat to expand production in Canada . He is screwing the auto workers .

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by AltaRed » 13 Jan 2018 19:53

The guy is nuts.. What can you say. He's so used to being protectionist that he cannot see beyond a first order equation.
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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by schmuck » 14 Jan 2018 14:50

ghariton wrote:
12 Jan 2018 14:34
Justin Trudeau’s “progressive” trade agenda — the insistence on including gender parity and Aboriginal issues in trade negotiations with the United States — is being cited as a barrier to progress by senior figures in the U.S. administration, according to people familiar with the matter.

Two chapters out of 28 may not be an insurmountable stumbling block, but given all of the other problems, should we really have added this one?
Of course not. That's why the American team appeared to be totally baffled by it. The same arrogant crap derailed negotiations with China. I's just a couple more building blocks for the sunny ways, leftist legacy Bambi is trying to create. I think the Canadian team is incompetent from the top down, hence the inclusion of whack jobs like Jerry Diaz. Also, they may have been swayed by the recent rosy employment report which I believe was over hyped, if not a total fluke.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by brucecohen » 15 Jan 2018 09:43

From Axios, a political news service in Washington:
The White House will never admit this publicly, but the president is developing a softer attitude towards the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Five sources who've spoken privately with Trump about NAFTA say he's taking more seriously the risks of withdrawing the U.S. from the trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

A conga-line of Republican senators have met with the president and explained to him why they consider NAFTA so important to their states. Two arguments have helped change Trump's thinking:

Withdrawing from NAFTA might interrupt the stock market's record-breaking run under his presidency. When it comes to bragging rights, Trump views the Dow Jones Industrial average as a useful substitute for his poll numbers. Though he told the WSJ that he thought U.S. markets would go up if he terminated NAFTA, sources who've spoken with the president say that privately he’s less certain of that — and is loathe to jeopardize the stock market’s record-breaking streak.

Withdrawing from NAFTA would harm farmers and agricultural communities — whom Trump considers "my people."
Trump made two telling comments this week, which were buried under the deluge of porn star and "shithole" news:

He told a group of farmers in Nashville — an audience adorned with “I support NAFTA” pins — “On NAFTA, I’m working very hard to get a better deal for our country and for our farmers and for our manufacturers...It’s not the easiest negotiation, but we’re going to make it fair for you people again.” That's a much gentler tone than Trump usually uses to discuss the deal.
He told the WSJ this: “I would rather be able to negotiate [NAFTA]. We’ve made a lot of headway. We’re moving along nicely. Bob Lighthizer and others are working very hard, and we’ll see what happens.”
Why this matters: The White House will never publicly admit Trump is shying away from terminating NAFTA because a key part of his and Lighthizer’s negotiating strategy is to convince Canada and Mexico that he's about to withdraw. Trump has even discussed issuing a six-month NAFTA withdrawal notice as a way to gain leverage. But from our vantage point — at least under this president — NAFTA has never looked safer.

One cautionary note: With this president, nothing is ever off the table. And nobody close to Trump ever feels 100 percent secure when it comes to trade.
Over the weekend NPR interviewed several pro-Trump farmers and farm lobby leaders who criticized Trump's Nashville speech on agriculture for lack of substance.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by kukucanuck » 15 Jan 2018 09:55

NAFTA IS NOT DEAD and it will not die - it will live on. US benefits too much from it - lot of US jobs depend on it.

It is a typical way of DONALD TRUMPF negotiating - Bullying, Bellicose, threatening etc. This is what likely worked for him in Real Estate. Loud mouths never win. His minions are only too eager to please him.

Stay the course Canada! - Stay Calm, yet firm. Stay the course. Patience pays! Glad to note that Liberals and Conservatives are united on this.

For Canada, it is CANADA FIRST !

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ghariton » 15 Jan 2018 13:24

kukucanuck wrote:
15 Jan 2018 09:55
NAFTA IS NOT DEAD and it will not die - it will live on. US benefits too much from it - lot of US jobs depend on it.
No doubt.

Unfortunately, many American voters don't like NAFTA, at least as it currently exists. That includes lots of Democrats, who are staying relatively silent on this. Given Bernie Saunders' platform and Hilary Clinton's adaptation to it during the campaign, I don't expect the left to be a tower of strength for NAFTA. The support will have to come from Republicans who realize the potential damage. Tricky.
It is a typical way of DONALD TRUMPF negotiating - Bullying, Bellicose, threatening etc.
I don't think that this is unique to Mr. Trump. Lots of negotiations use the threat of walking away from a deal, subtly and not so subtly.
His minions are only too eager to please him.
I hear that they mostly ignore him. Of course, civil servants are supposed to do what the President says -- that or resign. The present low-key but widespread civil disobedience will have unfortunate consequences when the next President will expect his or her instructions to be followed and will be surprised by the new style.
For Canada, it is CANADA FIRST !
Gosh, sounds just like Mr. Trump.

George
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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by Mordko » 15 Jan 2018 15:43

Apparently, Trump appointed 3 different individuals to "lead" the trade policy, each with a completely different set of views; two of them unqualified.

This is the kind of thing that can surely be exploited if our government were to stay focused and didn't try to play up to focus groups and/or bring trade unionists to the table.

I am not expecting much from this government but the Tories are not helping. They could try and keep the government focused and make sure the public understands that this is the most important issue for Canada and that whatever comes in place of NAFTA isn't going to help our economy. Once NAFTA is destroyed putting that particular Humpty back together again is unlikely. Yet the opposition seems to ignore this issue completely.

Trade helps everyone. "America First!" is dumb; Americans will be hurt by isolationist policies but at least its a large country. "Canada first!" is insane; we are a small trading nation and trade makes up something like three quarters of our GDP. Yet most people don't seem to care; and if they do its not in a good way.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by Rysto » 15 Jan 2018 19:39

Mordko wrote:
15 Jan 2018 15:43
This is the kind of thing that can surely be exploited if our government were to stay focused and didn't try to play up to focus groups and/or bring trade unionists to the table.
That is the kind of thing that might exploitable if the other negotiating team has any interest in actually interested in making a deal. There's little evidence that's the case at all.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ghariton » 15 Jan 2018 22:34

Rysto wrote:
15 Jan 2018 19:39
That is the kind of thing that might exploitable if the other negotiating team has any interest in actually interested in making a deal. There's little evidence that's the case at all.
Oh, I think that they are interested in making a deal. But the deal has tgo be seen as a big win for the U.S. It's the symbolism that's important, so that Trump can declare victory, rather than the substance, where I suspect Trump really doesn't care.

So the ideal solution is to let Trump have all the symbolic victories he wants, and focus on what really matters to Canada. Set it up so that Trump can boast about what a great negotiator he and his team are.

Unfortunately, these days, Canada is very interested in symbolism too, I suspect to the point where it is more important than substance. After all, we have to have a "progressive" trade agreement. The Liberals have to keep their base pacified, and limit defections to the NDP. That's probably why Jerry Diaz is the principal spokesperson.

Mexico is luckier. They can say one thing in Spanish and another in English.

George
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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by Mordko » 17 Jan 2018 13:56

Rysto wrote:
15 Jan 2018 19:39
Mordko wrote:
15 Jan 2018 15:43
This is the kind of thing that can surely be exploited if our government were to stay focused and didn't try to play up to focus groups and/or bring trade unionists to the table.
That is the kind of thing that might exploitable if the other negotiating team has any interest in actually interested in making a deal. There's little evidence that's the case at all.
In other words the other side acting like complete morons justifies us acting even worse?

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by Rysto » 17 Jan 2018 16:20

Mordko wrote:
17 Jan 2018 13:56
In other words the other side acting like complete morons justifies us acting even worse?
American positions have included drop-dead provisions that make NAFTA effectively unenforceable, and to basically end free trade in automobiles when exporting to the US. In exchange for this the US offers us exactly nothing. I'd love to know how Canada's bargaining positions can possibly be construed as worse than that.

Look, I understand that the name "Trudeau" triggers a Pavlovian response in conservatives in Canada but maybe defending Trump isn't the hill you want to be dying on.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ig17 » 17 Jan 2018 19:30

Discussions underway within Canadian government about reworking 'progressive trade agenda'
OTTAWA — With Canada’s “progressive trade agenda” meeting more apparent resistance from prospective trade partners than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intended, Canadian officials are now discussing how the strategy might be reworked, according to sources in the Canadian foreign affairs community.

“It boils down to our political masters to have a serious reflection on all of this,” said Guy Saint-Jacques, a former ambassador to China who confirmed to the National Post he is being consulted on the strategy and that a reckoning seems to be underway within the government. “There’s a need for an internal debate and maybe (to) make some revisions to the strategy. I think this is taking place now, so hopefully there will be progress in the next few weeks. There’s a bit of hard swallowing that is required.”

An insistence on prioritizing provisions related to gender, Indigenous issues, labour and the environment appears to have created hurdles in Canada’s three priority free trade negotiations: the launch of bilateral talks with China, the signing of a Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (renamed at Canada’s behest) and a renegotiation of the behemoth North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ig17 » 17 Jan 2018 19:31

Rysto wrote:
17 Jan 2018 16:20
Look, I understand that the name "Trudeau" triggers a Pavlovian response in conservatives in Canada but maybe defending Trump isn't the hill you want to be dying on.
TPP is not signed. China FTA talks aren't going anywhere. It's all Trump's fault.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ig17 » 17 Jan 2018 19:48

Just read this article again. No single quote will do it justice. A must read if you want to understand why our trade negotiations are stalled in all directions.

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Re: NAFTA is dead. So now what?

Post by ghariton » 18 Jan 2018 00:12

ig17 wrote:
17 Jan 2018 19:48
Just read this article again.
Thank you for the link.

Matches what some people who I know are saying.

George
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