PLAYING POKER WITH DONALD TRUMP – DID CANADA WIN OR LOSE IN RE-NEGOTIATING NAFTA?

<THREE AMIGOS, editorial cartoon by BRIAN GABLE, Globe and Mail>

CANADA’s two largest newspapersThe Globe and Mail & the Toronto Star – have analysed the new NAFTA agreement, finally written up after 13 months of tough negotiating.

The Globe and Mail, Canada’s National newspaper, assigned three reporters for a Report on Business – “How Canada Won, and Lost a Trade Deal”

1. – Canada’s red line was Chapter 19 from the start, to protect this country “from any capricious actions by an economic superpower 10 times its size.” The US agreed.
2. – The US guaranteed it would exempt Canadian autos from future tariffs, below a specific quota. The Americans raised the quota to 2.6-million vehicles from the current 2.3-million.
3. – The US dropped or softened four protectionist demands Canada found most abhorrent – including the Buy American demand; Chapter 19; and the 50% US content requirement on autos.
4. – Canada conceded on “every conventional trade irritant of the past decade: dairy, pharmaceutical patents, favouring BC wines over imported ones in that province’s grocery stores; and the airing of Super Bowl commercials.”
5. – Canada agreed to a clause designed to discourage its pursuit of a trade deal with China.
6. – Tariffs on Canadian steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) would remain in place for now anyway.

The Toronto Star – with more readers than any other Canadian newspaper – came up with “Real Deal or Raw Deal: What We Got in USMCA”

1. – Supply management was the only Canadian no-go zone breach.
2. – Canadian cultural industries will continue to be protected, including digital space.
3. – Canada will grant US dairy producers access to 3.59% of its dairy markets.
4. – Hand-crafted Indigenous textiles and apparel can be eligible for duty-free treatment – first time in a Canadian agreement.
5. – Movement of business people and immigrants remain unchanged – no new or expanded rights for professionals.
6. – Each of the three countries will “only support implementation of international environmental agreements to which they are a party.”

<THE NEGOTIATORS – Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. March 5, 2018, REUTERS/Edgard Garrido>

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