Ball of Confusion

Arturo-Santiago-Blog

I might be overstating it a bit with this title, but I do find the tentative US/Mexico trade deal, or as the White House calls it a “preliminary trade agreement,” somewhat confusing. The Administration says it’s going to submit the agreement that was reached last week to Congress and set up under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) a 90-day congressional review process.

The problem is that it might not even be eligible to be considered by the TPA. It might not even meet the standards of congressional negotiating priorities. And of course, on top of it all, Canada isn’t included in the agreement. And if it is eventually included, and we end up with an updated NAFTA of some sort, will that mean the end of this particular preliminary trade agreement?

According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), here’s what we need to know at the moment:

  • The agreement would have serious financial implications for the North American auto and auto parts industries by increasing regional value content rules and establishing complex compliance requirements in order to obtain duty-free trade across the border.
  • It also provides a “review and term extension” requiring a review every six years. And if either trading partner decides to terminate the agreement, 10 years later it would no longer be enforced.
  • In addition, certain legal protections under the Chapter 19 dispute settlement process have been removed, and the agricultural chapter has been updated to include several AEM priorities, including updated standards for agricultural biotechnology and keeping zero-tariff trade in agricultural commodities.
  • This agreement also doesn’t affect the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs or any subsequent Mexican counter-tariffs placed on US products.  

Talks with Canada are scheduled to resume this week.

The following report is from the CBC:


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Comments
  • SHAME SHAME SHAME on you, so called editor! Such negative liberal comments don’t need to be part of this type of media outlet. President Trump deserves more respect than you will ever understand. Just because your close minded, liberal thinking, doesn’t agree with President Trump’s agenda you choose to use a construction industry media source to promote your negativity. Goodbye and good riddance forester network! Make America Great! Don’t be a doomsayer!

    Reply
    • Arturo S.

      Thank you for your comments @craigb3. I don’t think that pointing out what is happening and what is not happening immediately labels me or this magazine as being liberal. I don’t believe I showed any lack of respect for the President. And I don’t think that just because I’m not singing the virtues of his agenda makes me close-minded, negative or a “doomsayer.” All politics aside, I do believe that it is important for people in the construction industry to understand and be aware of these trade developments as it affects their jobs and businesses.

      Reply
  • Ok Chicken Little I’m with Craig on this one. The problem is not the half of the story that you did write. It is the half of the story that you did not write. We got the sky is falling story from someone whose cozy little status quo is threatened but what is the up side. What do we gain from it.

    As a general observation the professionalism, integrity and credibility of journalist is about gone. They no longer report on events in a more or less evenhanded manner but now actively manipulate & spin EVERY story to push their supposedly superior agenda. No wonder we get our news from face plant, tweeter & interlink blogs while big media is struggling.

    Reply
    • Arturo S.

      Keith, I appreciate your perspective. I’m not sure I appreciate the Chicken Little reference and “cozy little status quo” remark since they come off as insults. I would like to have a discussion without this level of vitriol. If you would like to voice your opinion on the matter of US trade policy and how it affects you and industry at large, I’m willing to listen and post it here as I did your previous comment. -Arturo

      Reply
  • Arturo,

    I apologize for any insult you felt from my remarks. I did not intend to insult you or anyone. I was attempting to sent a tone for my view in general of these kinds of stories and what I view as the one-sided presentation of these topics. Again I am sorry that you felt I was attacking you personally. That was not my intent and I will try to choose my words more wisely in the future. – Keith

    Reply
  • Arturo,
    I appreciate the brevity and succinctness of your reporting of what’s in the pipeline for potential changes upcoming for the US-Mexico trade agreement. I look forward to reading more about it as the process gets further along.

    Reply

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