ACEUM | Tensions persist despite the trade deal

(Washington) The ACEUM Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect amid bitter talks between Washington, Ottawa and Mexico, is far from an end to trade friction between the three countries.

Dolphin Toyota with Anne-Sophie Dill in Montreal and Jean-Louis ARCE in Mexico
France Media Agency

But it could change the situation in terms of labor law led by the Biden administration.

The Canada-United-Mexico agreement (GUSMA) celebrates its first year on Thursday. 1There is July 2020, at the request of Donald Trump, replaces NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that has been in effect since 1994.

All three partners have always trumpeted that this new agreement will benefit their economies and their workers. But last year, it expanded, above all, between the United States and Canada on the one hand, and the United States and Mexico on the other.

Of course, CUSMA has removed the “cloud of uncertainty” and therefore improved the business environment, which is not a key aspect of improving trade and investment, underlined by expert Geoffrey Shot at the Peterson Institute, a think tank for the international economy.

But paradoxically, this favors the eruption of many conflicts.

“NAFTA is a vision of a North American market, which is gradually becoming more and more integrated, somewhat on the model of the EU,” Edward recalled, in the absence of tariffs between countries. Alton, an expert with the Foreign Council, recalled. Relationships.

“Kuzma has created the rules for cooperation for the three distinct North American economies, the rules they can, and the rules to fight where they cannot,” he continues.

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So he expects to see an increase in appeals over the next few years.

Because, “Within the framework of these rules, [les pays] They will act in their own interests, rather than aggressively, ”he said.

The list of disputed areas between Washington and Ottawa is growing, from the historical conflict over Canadian dairy products and softwood logging, to the taxation of Canadian solar panels and American digital companies.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Toy, who has been negotiating USMCA labor law provisions, has already stated that she will protect U.S. interests, starting with the country’s milk producers.

Its services recently established a special settlement panel provided in the trade agreement to examine the milk quota imposed by Ottawa.

Something that annoys Canadians.


According to Franசois Dumontier, a spokeswoman for the producers’ de Leight du Quebec, CUSMA did not offer “any benefit”.

According to him, some provisions of the agreement are an “attack on Canadian sovereignty”, which restricts Canadian exports, while allowing more imports from the United States.

For his part, David Salmonsson, an official with the American Farm Bureau Federation, a major U.S. agricultural association, points to a long list of conflicts, but he wants to be optimistic.

“We will have a better vision [de l’état de la relation commerciale] Once all savings are recovered from the epidemic, ”he insists.

“We supported the Kuzma Agreement and we hope it will help grow agricultural trade between the three countries,” he said.

The Canadian government has targeted the solar panel sector in the face of a U.S. attack on the dairy sector.

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He recently called for the creation of a panel of experts to condemn the use of 18% US fees in the industry.

Despite these conflicts, economist and director of the Mexican think tank Valeria Moi, director of the IMCO (Instituto Mexicano para la Competitive), believes that for a year “globally”, there have been no serious changes compared to NAFTA.

However, he expects the deal to affect labor law in Mexico in the future.

Washington has already twice called on CUSMA in Mexico City to investigate suspected violations of union rights in the automotive sector, including the General Motors plant.

“Will this benefit Mexican workers? It seems to me,” he saidMe Average. “This will force Mexican companies to make changes.”

However, the economist worries that the United States may use the issue of labor law as an “excuse to use protectionist measures.”

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