The american president Donald Trump on the south lawn of the White House, on June 1, 2018 Washington, d.c. (Photo SAUL LOEB. AFP)
The us president, Donald Trump has thrown a new stone into the pond on Friday in the difficult renegotiation of the free trade agreement Nafta between the United States, Canada and Mexico, suggesting that it would be preferable to have two separate agreements with these two countries.
“I would have no objection to see a separate agreement with Canada where we would have a certain type of product, so to speak, and another with Mexico”, said abruptly to Mr. Trump on the White House lawn. “These are two very different countries”, he continued, adding that the Nafta was “an agreement lamentable for the United States”.
“We lose a lot of money with Canada, and we are losing a fortune with Mexico,” added the u.s. president, pitching this new idea in full iron arms trade global.
In the name of “national security”, the us administration has just decreed the imposition of customs duties on steel products (25%) and aluminium (10%) imported from the european Union, Canada and Mexico, but the historic allies of the United States.
As soon as the announcement Thursday of the imposition of such taxes on metals imported, the urgency of a conclusion on a new agreement Nafta has seemed to evaporate, the u.s. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross admitting that there was now “no date” for the outcome of the discussions.
It has also insisted on the preference of his administration for bilateral agreements rather than a multilateral system for the “palabres ” infinite”.
Negotiators from the us, canada and mexico have been working since last August as the modernisation of the agreement in force since 1994, claimed by Donald Trump.
For the latter, the Nafta has destroyed many american jobs and is responsible for the relocation of the us car manufacturers to Mexico, where wage costs are lower.
– Escalation of rhetoric ? –
In front of journalists, Mr. Trump has asserted that the United States has lost “more than $ 100 billion per year, with Mexico and billion with Canada”.
The president has, in fact, largely rounded at the top of the u.s. trade deficit with Mexico was $ 70 billion in 2017, of which $ 76 billion for goods only, the exchange is positive for Washington services.
With Canada, the United States are commercially surplus (+2 billion us dollars), trade in services more than offsetting a deficit of $ 23 billion on goods that are, according to official figures us.
There are still two weeks, the three countries under strong pressure to conclude the renegotiation, were published optimistic hope, the culmination of a “very good agreement” according to the words of Ottawa.
But in the spring, before the lengthening of the discussions, Donald Trump has been very quickly linked the fate of the negotiations on the Nafta with that of the customs duties on the steel, granting a temporary exemption on these tariffs on the metals that it was finally not renewed on Thursday.
Canada is the main supplier of steel to the United States.
The escalating rhetoric from the u.s. president intervened in the aftermath of trade retaliation announced by Ottawa on the case of the steel.
Qualifying taxes on steel and aluminum”unacceptable”, the Prime minister of canada Justin Trudeau has estimated that they constituted “an affront to the security partnership, long-standing between Canada and the United States and an affront to the thousands of Canadians who fought and died alongside their brothers in arms americans.”
Ottawa responded in concrete terms by announcing taxes on $ 16.6 billion of canadian dollars (in 12.8 bn USD) us products.
At Whistler in Canada, where was held a meeting of the G7 finance canadian minister of finance Bill Morneau acknowledged that “clearly, the discussions would be difficult.”