The New NAFTA: USMCA Receives Mixed Reactions
NAFTA will soon be a thing of the past after a successful meeting between President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday formally signing the USMCA, which was also Pena Nieto’s last day in office. The agreement, which will be referred to as the CUSMA in Canada, is the first of many steps needed to reconcile trade tensions among the three countries, as many are welcoming the implementation with optimism, according to reports from CBC.
Companies such as the North American Recreational Boating Industry welcome the news with open arms, expressing their gratitude for steps in better direction for trade relations.
“Today, we applaud the formal signing of USMCA – a vitally important trilateral trade pact, which ensures the continued health and success of industries like marine manufacturing that rely on the free flow of goods in North America. We thank all three leaders for preserving the special trading relationship between our countries and urge immediate ratification of this historic agreement,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich and NMMA Canada President Sara Anghel commented.
But with tariffs still in place on goods such as metals and and steel between the countries, there are still conflicts to be resolved and decisions to be made in light of Canada and Mexico’s dissatisfaction.
“Donald, it’s all the more reason why we need to keep working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum between our countries,” said Trudeau.
Concerns from manufacturers, key industry players and consumers is also being noted as they acknowledge there is still a lot of work to be done in regards to the still imposed tariffs from earlier in the year. These tariffs are still the source of pain for many in the trade industry.
Dammrich and Anghel commented:
“However, this agreement fails to resolve an issue that has delivered a serious blow to the recreational boating industry: U.S. tariffs on virtually all aluminum and steel imports and the resulting retaliatory measures. When the Trump Administration hit key allies with tariffs under the guise of a national security threat, Canada and Mexico responded with punitive tariffs on distinctly American made industries and products, including recreational boats. As a result, U.S. boat exports to both countries – which account for more than half of the U.S. industry’s international sales – have all but dried up, jeopardizing thousands of jobs and businesses in all three countries. For every day that passes without a solution to this problem, the chances of seeing irreparable harm to our industry grows.”
“While the official signing of USMCA is encouraging, the challenges created by the aluminum and steel tariffs and subsequent retaliation far outweigh our enthusiasm. Negotiators should capitalize on the goodwill created by this agreement and immediately remove Section 232 tariffs and retaliatory measures – thousands of businesses and jobs in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are counting on it.”
As the first of many steps kicks-off, industry experts will continue to monitor for next steps and how things will shift between global trade relations and tariff resolutions.
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