In this file:


·         U.S. Vote on the New NAFTA Could Slip to Late 2020, Says Grassley

·         Mexican official says a deal is close to lift U.S. steel tariffs as Freeland heads to D.C.

·         New Mexican duties against U.S. ready soon, minister says



U.S. Vote on the New NAFTA Could Slip to Late 2020, Says Grassley


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 5/15/2019


The war has pushed the new NAFTA, a pact that Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. back with varying degrees of enthusiasm, into the shadows on Capitol Hill. Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley said on Tuesday that a vote on the free trade agreement could be delayed for a year or more by presidential politicking unless Congress starts work soon.


“If we don’t get it done this year, it won’t get done until after the next presidential election,” said Grassley. During a teleconference, he pointed to “selfish banking lobbyists” as an obstacle to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The USMCA faces other hurdles, too. Chief among them is a tri-national fight over steel and aluminum tariffs and demands by House Democrats for stronger language on labor and environmental protections. The White House has yet to send the USMCA to Congress for consideration.


Grassley discussed the prospects for USMCA at the same time the Trump administration was working on an aid package for U.S. farmers caught in the tariff cross fire of the trade war. USDA officials told farm broadcasters that a trade mitigation plan is days, not weeks, away. A key member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, John Hoeven of North Dakota, said, “We worked to provide the authority necessary to use tariff revenue to provide agriculture aid.” Twice, President Trump has said $15 billion in tariff revenue could be used to prop up the farm sector.


At the White House, Trump said...


more, including link



Mexican official says a deal is close to lift U.S. steel tariffs as Freeland heads to D.C.

Canadian gov't officials temper expectations, say a breakthrough doesn't look imminent


Peter Zimonjic, Katie Simpson, Brennan MacDonald, Vassy Kapelos · CBC News (Canada)

May 14, 2019


A senior Mexican cabinet secretary said today she thinks Mexico is close to a deal to lift the United States' controversial 'national security' tariffs on steel and aluminum and suggested Canada, the U.S. and Mexico might negotiate a trilateral agreement to eliminate the tariffs.


"Our chief negotiator Jesus Seade has been in Washington for a number of days in the past few months," Mexican Secretary of Economy Graciela Márquez Colín said Tuesday in an interview on CBC News Networks Power & Politics. "We are, I think, close to negotiating a lifting of the tariffs."


Colín went on to say that a possible trilateral agreement between the North American trading partners is on the table.


"So far we have been negotiating on bilateral terms, but if we get similar proposals we might go into a trilateral, but that's just a possibility," Colín told host Vassy Kapelos.


"That's why it's important to be here in Canada today, so that we can share opinions and sense how the negotiation is going in Canada, how the negotiation is going in Mexico."


Two government officials, speaking on background to CBC News, tempered Colín's optimism about a deal being reached soon to lift the so-called Section 232 tariffs.


Both sources stressed that from the Canadian perspective, a breakthrough does not appear imminent.


Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be in Washington D.C. Wednesday to sit down with her American counterpart and hold a series of bilateral meetings with members of Congress.


Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer will have plenty to talk about, starting with China's ongoing trade actions against both countries. Freeland also is expected to press the U.S. on tariffs, arguing Canada would have a hard time ratifying a revamped NAFTA deal while U.S. steel tariffs remain in place...





New Mexican duties against U.S. ready soon, minister says


Reporting for Reuters by Allison Martell; writing by David Ljunggren.

via GFM Network News/Canadian Cattlemen - May 14, 2019


Toronto | Reuters — Mexico is finalizing duties to impose on new U.S. products in retaliation for the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs and details should be available soon, Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said on Tuesday.


Mexico and Canada have both imposed retaliatory measures on billions of dollars of U.S. goods. Mexico said in March it would revamp its target list to focus on the agricultural and industrial sectors.


“We are in the process of preparing new retaliation tariffs… we are not in a position of disclosing the new components,” Marquez told reporters in Toronto after talks with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.


“But I can tell you it will include economic considerations as well as political considerations,” she said when asked whether Mexico would target more Democratic constituencies.


Some leading Democrats have expressed doubts about ratifying a new continental trade deal that the three North America nations signed last year. Mexico rejects criticism from Democrats that the new pact needs stronger labour provisions...