Trump Wants Bilateral Talks
CBJ — U.S. President Donald Trump prefers to initiate separate bilateral trade talks with Canada and Mexico as opposed to renegotiating the trilateral NAFTA agreement, but Canada has thus far not provided an official response to the idea.
Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. president’s National Economic Council, said Trump is now “very seriously contemplating a shift in NAFTA negotiations,” during an appearance on U.S. television. “His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately.”
Mexico’s Ambassador to Canada Dionisio Pérez Jácome said his country is focused on working toward a renegotiated NAFTA rather than a bilateral agreement with the U.S., regardless of the tariffs imposed by the United States.
As of June 1 the U.S. slapped a 25% tariff on Canadian, Mexican and EU steel imports and a 10% tax on aluminum. Canada retaliated by saying it will invoke nearly $17 billion in tariffs on incoming U.S. goods as of July 1 if the U.S. does not rescind the new tariffs by then.
Mexico’s retaliatory list includes a 20% tariff on U.S. pork legs and shoulders, apples and potatoes and 20-25% duties on types of cheeses and bourbon.
Much like Canada, the EU has also announced retaliatory measures as of July 1 if the U.S. tariffs are not withdrawn.