User: flenvcenter Topic: Economics and Jobs-Independent
Category: Trade
Last updated: Oct 11 2018 04:51 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Is there life after NAFTA? 11.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Mel Watkins Like all sensible folk, I was opposed to the NAFTA at the outset, convinced that it did more for corporations than for the rest of us. I'm still of that view. Is it possible that the biggest change is in the name itself, from NAFTA to USMCA, so that Trump can boast that he delivered on his promise to get rid of NAFTA? A number of commentators on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border have written -- in the words of John Ibbitson in The Globe and Mail -- that the USMCA is "essentially the old NAFTA tilted more in America's favour." Is that all there is? Firstly it's quite a tilt -- like the U.S. keeping a special tariff on aluminum and steel from Canada, on the grounds, believe it or not, of national security. Talk about absurdly fake facts. Let's go back to the beginning in the late 1980s. The U.S. and Canada had just signed the Free Trade Agreement FTA when, with the ink hardly dry, the U.S. insisted on adding Mexico. We thought we'd made a one-on-one deal, a special arrangement that got us ...
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U.S. shuts down Canadian trade talks with China, sets sights on EU and Japan 9.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
World After the United States signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with Canada and Mexico, senior Trump administration officials fanned out to sell the deal as part of a new American geopolitical strategy. In ongoing talks with Japan and the European Union (EU), the U.S. plans to use the precedent created by a concession granted in the USMCA to advance the American goal of isolating and punishing China for its trade practices. Having extracted from Canada and Mexico -- in Article 32:10 of USMCA -- a promise that they would not sit down to negotiate a trade agreement with a non-market country -- like China -- without getting approval from the U.S., the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer plans to get Japan and the EU to accept the same constraint. The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa reacted vigorously to the non-market clause, calling it "dishonest behaviour" and objecting to the exercise of U.S. dominance. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross described the non-market clause ...
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Did we really defeat Chapter 11 in NAFTA? 2.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson In the recently announced United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have reportedly agreed to "phase out" the controversial Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement provision. But Brock University political science professor Blayne Haggart suggests that "six-year mandatory review" provision in the USMCA has ominous implications in this regard. Article 34.7 ( covering review and term extension) of the USMCA states, "No later than the sixth anniversary of the entry into force of this Agreement, the Commission shall meet to conduct a 'joint review' of the operation of the Agreement, review any recommendations for action submitted by a Party, and decide on any appropriate actions." Haggart argues, "The spectre of this review would likely make Canadian policy-makers hesitant about implementing policies that may upset the United States and thus threaten the entire economic relationship." He adds, "This effect would be ...
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The good, the bad and the ugly in NAFTA 2.0 2.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Sujata Dey At midnight on Sunday, Canada and the U.S. agreed on a new NAFTA deal, one which would now be called the USMCA, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly within the agreement. Good news first No Chapter 11 between the U.S. and Canada For many years, the Council of Canadians and others have been advocating to get rid of Chapter 11, the investor-state dispute-settlement (ISDS) process. These are the provisions that allow corporations to sue countries over decisions, even if they are made in the public interest. For years, Canada has faced corporate lawsuits that made provinces renounce public auto insurance, accept toxins and pay for refusing dangerous quarries. Now, at the request of the U.S., there will be no ISDS process between U.S. and Canada. This is a paradigm shift for Canada, which has been actively promoting the mechanism in deals such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe (CETA) and the new Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP),and the ...
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Conservatives would have fought harder to protect Canadian dairy farmers? Don't believe it! 2.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
David J. Climenhaga A lot of Canada's Conservatives were wearing long faces yesterday about the impact of the freshly inked United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on this country's dairy industry. As political sins go, this small hypocrisy is a minor one. Why not let the sitting government take the rap for a treaty with our big, bullying neighbour that is certain to be unpopular with a small but vocal and well-financed group of voters inclined to support Conservatives anyway? What's more, the current leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada can hardly fail to be mindful of the fact Andrew Scheer became leader last year in large part because he took the side of the dairy lobby against the ideological market-fundamentalism of his rival Maxime Bernier, who for much of the leadership race appeared to be the frontrunner. Just the same, you shouldn't believe them. Movement conservatives have been salivating at the prospect of dismantling supply management in dairy, poultry and eggs for decades. Why do you ...
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NAFTA 2.0 is no cause for celebration 1.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson While the full text of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) needs to be thoroughly analyzed, a preliminary review raises numerous concerns. Mainstream media coverage this morning has focused on the implications of the deal on the automotive and dairy markets and to some extent the Chapter 19 dispute settlement provision. Plainly stated, this agreement will not bring back well-paying jobs for auto workers in Detroit, it will hurt Canadian farmers (given U.S. exports of dairy into this country will increase), and the Chapter 19 dispute settlement provision is still a weak protection against unfairly imposed tariffs. Furthermore, the key issues of climate change, Indigenous rights, and pharmacare are left unaddressed. It's not surprising that the words "climate change" do not appear in the text, but that doesn't make that reality any less unacceptable. There is nothing in this agreement that constrains the power of Big Oil or that keeps carbon emissions from exceeding the 1.5 ...
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Canada capitulates to Trump on trade with renegotiated NAFTA 1.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
The trade deal signed by Canada with the U.S. on Sunday night is called the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). If approved by the U.S. Congress, it will replace NAFTA. The late Mel Hurtig, a foremost publisher, authored his first book about the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the trade deal that NAFTA replaced. The Betrayal of Canada was a number 1 bestseller. The USMCA deal awaits a sequel: The Further Betrayal of Canada. The outrageous 25 per cent U.S. steel and 10 per cent U.S. aluminium tariffs remain in place, choking Canadian industry. Maybe that is why there is no pretext this time of pretending that a continental economic integration project cooked up in Washington for its benefit should be called a "free trade" agreement. The U.S. tariffs were applied to protect national security. Canada is a NORAD security partner with the U.S. in joint continental defence and a NATO security partner of the U.S. as well. Despite being inside the joint security perimeter, Canada did not ...
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New NAFTA is a further betrayal of Canada 1.10.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
New NAFTA is a further betrayal of Canada
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NAFTA's fate remains unknown as trade talks approach deadline 27.9.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is approaching a significant deadline on September 30. Trade analyst Candace Sider says, "That's the date set out by Washington to deliver the text of a deal with or without Canada before making public (within 30 days) the text to the bilateral trade deal the United States struck with Mexico on August 30." CBC trade reporter Janyce McGregor adds, "The U.S. Congress needs to see text 60 days before Trump would be authorized to sign anything with outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña ​Nieto, who leaves office on Dec. 1." On this rapidly approaching deadline, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says, "We're going to go ahead with Mexico. If Canada comes along now, that would be the best. If Canada comes along later, then that's what will happen. We're sort of running out of time." But Lighthizer's threat may be hollow given former U.S. trade official Jennifer Hillman told CBC that the deal those countries reached ...
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Trudeau offers stewardship while Canadians look for leadership 11.9.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Politics in Canada Canadians look to the federal government for leadership. What they have been getting instead from the Liberal government is stewardship. With Parliament reconvening next week, and just over a year remaining before the scheduled 2019 election, it is time for the government and opposition parties to put their best policy ideas forward. The Liberals like to focus on building the middle class. With interest rates slated to rise, what does the government have to offer recent home purchasers who are going to face costly mortgage rate hikes which may well make it difficult to hold onto their homes? Property developers are making money, while aspiring homeowners in major centres face affordability barriers. Encouraging the private sector to provide market-based answers to housing has failed to provide either ownership opportunities at reasonable cost, or, crucially, enough rental and social housing spaces. What do party leaders have to say about the severe shortages of affordable housing that ...
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Trudeau clings to Chapter 19 in NAFTA, but why? 6.9.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson As talks on a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be saying that its Chapter 19 provision is an essential element to getting a good "free trade" deal. Similarly, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has called on Trudeau to "vigorously defend" Chapter 19, the Business Council of Canada says "Canada needs a mechanism to respond" to U.S. protectionist measures, and The Globe and Mail editorial board has almost breathlessly extolled, "An independent dispute settlement mechanism is Issue No. 1 for Canada." Should we accept this argument? The CBC (anthropomorphizing transnational capital with emotion) explains, "Chapter 19 allows companies that feel their products have been unfairly hit with anti-dumping or countervailing duties to request arbitration. If a panel with representatives from both countries agrees, it can require the return of those duties." The Trump administration wants Chapter 19 eliminated from ...
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Trump deals major blow to Trudeau government's trade plans 4.9.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
US Politics Despite his constant denigration of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Donald Trump was prepared to re-negotiate NAFTA after all -- but only with Mexico. Canada was frozen out of the bilateral talks between the two other NAFTA partners. These quiet one-on-one negotiations ended after a few weeks with a new agreement that Canada is supposed to accept, even if negotiated without its participation or approval. The U.S. president has been carrying out a Twitter campaign to soften up Canada, which he contends has been taking advantage of the U.S. for decades. In between reminding Canadians that he is planning to impose a 25 per cent tariff on Canadian automotive exports, Trump took time out to tell Bloomberg News he would make no concessions to Canada in bilateral NAFTA talks, which are set to resume this week. Anyone who followed the 2016 U.S. presidential election knew that Donald Trump was determined to terminate NAFTA. It was obvious that for Trump anything that replaced NAFTA had ...
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If we lose the NAFTA fight, maybe we'll take on capitalism 29.8.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson As the outgoing Mexican administration agrees to a still undisclosed U.S.-Mexico "free trade" agreement (before the new Mexican president elected on July 1 is sworn in on December 1) and Canada's foreign minister urgently visits Washington with the U.S. president's Friday deadline for Canada to join the deal, I am reminded of Naomi Klein's comment regarding climate change: "We cannot solve this crisis without a profound ideological shift." Transnational corporations have lobbied hard for so-called free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Along with the sledgehammer threat of capital flight, these "corporate rights agreements" provide corporations with tools to constrain governments that are being successfully pressured by social movements to take legislative action in the public interest. The most infamous clause is likely the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision that allows transnational corporations to sue national governments in ...
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Free trade is central to the neoliberalism that is ripping apart the planet 29.8.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Free trade is central to the neoliberalism that is ripping apart the planet
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With no exit strategy in sight, the U.S. starts a trade war with China 10.7.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
World The 25 per cent U.S. tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports promised by Donald Trump entered into force last week , with another U.S. tariff action covering $16 billion of Chinese goods to be applied in two weeks' time. These aggressive protectionist measures were immediately met with retaliatory 25 per cent tariffs imposed by China on $34 billion worth of U.S. imports. Not happy with the Chinese tit-for-tat response, Trump has menaced further action: 10 per cent U.S. protectionist tariffs on additional Chinese imports worth $200 billion, followed by another round of tariffs on a further $300 billion of goods. Such an escalation of the trade war would cover all U.S. imports from China. Since the U.S. does not seem to have what trade diplomats describe as "off-ramp" or exit strategy in mind, a lot of governments, in China foremost, are puzzled over what to expect next. Prior to the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, for a period of about 20 years -- and especially under ...
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Why Canada needs to dump NAFTA's energy proportionality rule 3.7.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Best-of-the-net When Donald Trump approved the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to bring Alberta bitumen to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries he said it would “reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” Given that the pipeline, if built, would mainly ship Canadian oil to U.S. Gulf coast refineries, Trump showed, perhaps inadvertently, that he considers Canadian oil to be American. Unfortunately, his assumption is based on fact. The North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA’s) energy proportionality rule (Article 605) gives the U.S. virtually unlimited first access to most of Canada’s oil and natural gas. According to the NAFTA rule, Ottawa must not reduce oil exports to the U.S. like it did during international oil shortages in the 1970s to divert these supplies to Eastern Canadians who relied on imported oil then, as they still do now. Under NAFTA Article 605, Ottawa must continue to export the same proportion of oil (and natural gas and electricity) as it has in the past three years even if eastern Canadians ...
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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland misses the point about American power 19.6.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
World Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was recognized last week as Diplomat of the Year by the American establishment magazine Foreign Policy. In her Washington, D.C. speech Freeland referred to the U.S. as the leader of the free world and concluded her remarks suggesting that Canada and "our friends in the world democracies" were "shoulder to shoulder" and were "strongest with America in our ranks and, indeed, in the lead." Freeland was content to invoke the "rules-based" international order established after the Second World War as the standard for conduct of international relations. The reality she left unstated is that over the past seven decades the dominant feature of world politics has been the exercise of American hegemonic power. U.S. military power has underscored postwar politics, beginning with the period when the U.S. was sole possessor of nuclear weapons. When it dropped the atomic bomb to conclude the war against Japan, the U.S. sent a clear signal to Russia, its wartime ally, ...
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How to handle U.S. threats to Canadian trade 12.6.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
US Politics Following his departure from the Charlevoix G7 Summit, Donald Trump took to Twitter to denounce the host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling him weak and very dishonest. The U.S. president was angry because Trudeau said it was "sort of insulting" to cite national security as the reason for imposing new U.S. tariffs on Canadian imports of aluminium and steel, since soldiers from both countries had fought shoulder to shoulder on various occasions around the world since the First World War. Trump claimed it was Canada that blocked U.S. goods, with tariffs as high as 270 per cent on U.S. milk, suggesting the American tariffs were pressure tactics unrelated to national security. Being name-called by Donald Trump will likely result in boosting the flagging popularity of the Canadian prime minister, if not his government. Virtually all Canadian leaders came out in support of Justin Trudeau, including Ontario premier-elect Doug Ford, Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney (who has spent ...
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Mexico looks to Europe after slapping tariffs on US pork 6.6.2018 World – The Indian Express
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As Trump turns on Canada, why is Ottawa surprised? 5.6.2018 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
US Politics After 500 days as U.S. president, Donald Trump is riding high, enjoying 87 per cent approval ratings from the 26 per cent of U.S citizens who declare as Republicans. This is more partisan support than any U.S. president has received since the Second World War, other than George W. Bush after 9/11. While it is easy for Canadians to think of Trump as unfit and unqualified to be U.S. president, it is a mistake for the Trudeau government to ignore the way he keeps checking the boxes on his campaign pledges. Whether it be pulling out of the Paris and Iran accords, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, expelling immigrants, or giving American corporations that invest in the U.S. a dollar for dollar tax benefit for each dollar invested, Trump is moving ahead on his partisan agenda. Donald Trump was elected promising to deal with China and other American trading partners (think Canada and Mexico, its NAFTA partners), who were "stealing" American jobs. The U.S. president currently has his sights on ...
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