The US has been withdrawing and renegotiating trade agreements at a dizzying pace- from withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017 ( and then looking to rejoin it in 2018), to an escalated tariff war with China, to a high-pressure trade deal with Mexico, to pressure on Canada to join the new US-Mexico agreement. Canada, meanwhile, has relied heavily on free trade agreements to increase market access for Canadian exporters.
In the current trade battles, the US looks to use all possible sources of leverage to negotiate advantageous trade deals with countries in key markets around the world.
NAFTA negotiations, which began in August 2017 seem stalled despite Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland’s comment that “Nothing is done until it’s done”.
Meanwhile tariffs and counter tariffs are being imposed. The Trump administration announced increased US tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Canada replied, announcing counter measures on US imports.
China and the US imposed tariffs on $16 billion of each other’s products. This week, it’s reported that the US will impose new tariffs later this month on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China has been matching new US tariffs dollar for dollar.
For Canada, NAFTA disputes continue.
One longstanding NAFTA issue is Chapter 19. Chapter 19 gives the NAFTA parties the right to challenge each other’s antidumping and countervailing duty decisions before a NAFTA tribunal. Chapter 19 is contentious as Chapter 19 panels have repeatedly ruled against the US.
But what can President Trump do? Raise tariffs unchecked? Continue to complicate Canadian trade with Mexico? Can U.S. Business Groups keep up their recent pressure to keep Canada in NAFTA?
A group of prominent US businesses is pointing out the advantages to Chapter 11 ISDS (Investor-state dispute settlement) stating:
“NAFTA’s current investment protections and ISDS support American jobs at home and protect U.S. businesses from discrimination abroad. ISDS upholds the same fundamental due process and private property guarantees protected by our Constitution, and it obligates other countries to uphold these precepts as well,”
For further discussions of NAFTA negotiations and their implications, join us for a presentation entitled:
“Leveling the Playing Field – A Discussion of NAFTA Resolutions and the Impact of US Tax and Regulatory Reform on Canadian Competitiveness. ”
with David McLellan, Principal at Ridgeway Strategic Consulting Ltd. -addressing the key Canada/US trade and tax developments, NAFTA and recent developments in US tax and regulatory reform.
Mr. McLellan will be joined by Mr. Romeo Rohas, Associate at Bennett Jones, specializing in Domestic and International Commercial Arbitration and Investor-State Arbitration who will speak on NAFTA Dispute Resolution and Chapters 11 and 19.
Thursday October 18, 2018 at the Calgary Petroleum Club – 11 15:am to 1.00 pm. Tickets $50.00 members, $60.00 non-members.