BIG NEWS in the trade world this week as President Trump announced his intention to implement tariffs on steel and aluminum, a threat that now hangs over NAFTA negotiations. Prime Minister Trudeau called the tariffs "unacceptable" and many in Canada and the U.S. are urging the U.S. administration to exempt Canada from any steel tariffs.
The seventh round of negotiations got underway earlier this week as representatives from the U.S., Canada. and Mexico convened in Mexico City for more talks. The latest news today is that negotiators have reached an agreement on regulatory best practices.
The last round of talks, which took place in Montreal in January, was described by USTR Robert Lighthizer as a "step forward, but we are progressing very slowly". Click here for a quick summary of where each issue stands following the Montreal round.
Here at PNWER, we have been closely tracking the progress of NAFTA. This week, a PNWER delegation, including CEO Matt Morrison, PNWER VP Rep. Mike Cuffe (MT), and Steve Myers, visited D.C. to speak with our Congressional offices and partners, including a meeting with Chief of Staff for Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) Chair of the International Subcommittee of Ways & Means, and the lead for NAFTA negotiations in the House. They also met with the US Dept. of Agriculture, US Department of Interior, and the State Department and discussed PNWER's NAFTA Resolution and Modernization Recommendations, as well as the upcoming Farm Bill and Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
In January, PNWER conducted our annual capital visits with President Arnie Roblan (OR) and had the the opportunity to meet and discuss NAFTA with our governors, legislative leaders, state commerce departments, and business stakeholders in Olympia, Boise, and Juneau.
PNWER CEO Matt Morrison also had the opportunity to speak Feb 22 at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's Beyond NAFTA event. on the importance of the deeply integrated U.S.-Canada trade relationship.
Catch up on everything you need to know for the seventh round of NAFTA talks:
Attached is a handy reference sheet breaking down the costs to U.S. businesses, farmers, and key industries of withdrawing from NAFTA.
NAFTA negotiations round 7 underway as Mexico-U.S. tensions flare
Time crunch looms over seventh round of NAFTA talks
The Real Game Trump is Playing on NAFTA
A year later, NAFTA is still alive
Study: Withdrawing from NAFTA will cost 1.8 million jobs in the first year
In other news, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobsen has unexpectedly announced her retirement. .
Finally, I'd like to once again point out the great resource that our friends at the Business Council of Canada have developed which demonstrates the dollar value of each U.S. state and individual Congressional district's exports to Canada. The annual value of U.S. exports to Canada is $321 billion, and $13.8 billion in the PNWER states alone. We encourage you to utilize this resource - http://thebusinesscouncil.ca/canada-us-partnership/