It was a campaign promise of Donald Trump, the new free trade agreement linking the United States, Canada and Mexico entered into force on Wednesday, at a time when the borders between the three countries are partially closed because of pandemic Covid-19.
“The AEUMC is the trade agreement the most important, the most fair and the most balanced ever negotiated,” said the republican president, stating that it will support the economy and american jobs.
According to him, it is also a “huge victory” for industrialists and workers in the automotive sector and a ” historic breakthrough for american agriculture “.
The AEUMC, obtained after a tug of war diplomatic and ratified after several amendments, replaces the NAFTA (free trade agreement north american), which dated back to 1994 and who was unanimously considered obsolete.
The renegotiation of the NAFTA, described by Donald Trump, the worst agreement in american history, had begun a few months after his arrival in the White House.
“Today marks the beginning of a new and much better chapter in trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada “, had commented earlier Trade representative Robert Lighthizer, the chief negotiator.
If it is a successful policy which has obtained a consensus between the two parties in the United States, the agreement is far from eliminate all areas of friction between the three partners, whose economies have become interdependent.
“It looks more like a temporary truce with the administration to Trump that of a return to the stability of the north american business,” says Edward Alden, an expert in international trade at the Council on Foreign relations.
And trade tensions may resume at any time with an american president returned to campaign for his re-election in November.
June 17, Robert Lighthizer warned, before Congress, that the administration Trump was willing to take measures as “often” as necessary to challenge any violations of the new agreement.
Its teams will closely monitor the issue of trade in dairy products, the longstanding dispute between farmers in the u.s. and canada.
On this point, Donald Trump stated that ” Canada will provide a better access to dairy products, poultry and eggs u.s. and, finally, will give a fair treatment to the wheat grown in the United States “.
For Mexico, Mr. Lighthizer had taken note of the existing disputes, stating the refusal of Mexico to approve the new imports of GMO products us these past two years.
For the time being, the three countries can rejoice in the preservation of the principle of a vast free-trade area without customs duty.
With roughly 500 million inhabitants, the treaty is crucial for the three economies that today have been hard hit by the pandemic Covid-19.
In 2019, the trade between them represented approximately 1,200 billion dollars. And the gross domestic product of their combined economies representing about 27 % of global GDP.
“With the new NAFTA, we have been able to protect our cultural industries in the digital era and for the future, we could ensure better protection for our car industry “, said Monday the prime minister of canada, Justin Trudeau.
He also delighted in the fact that his government had ” failed to protect the privileged access that thousands and thousands of canadian businesses and millions of Canadians have the american market at a time of protectionism and uncertainty about the world trade “.
But he also spoke of the rumors that Donald Trump could réimposer of customs duties on aluminum canadian, before you argue that the United States did not have enough production capacity and therefore had need of the aluminum canada for their auto industries and high technology.
In June 2018, with a full renegotiation of the NAFTA, Donald Trump had yet not hesitated to introduce customs duties punitive damages on the aluminum canadian, causing the astonishment of his ally history.
Sign of potential tensions, Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that ” now, more than ever, the United States must stop the outsourcing of jobs and increase their production capacity and their investments here at home.”