Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Trump Wants Bilateral Deal With Ottawa Instead of NAFTA - White House

Trump Wants Bilateral Deal With Ottawa Instead of NAFTA - White House

"His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately", Kudlow said in an interview with Fox News.

What is a trade war? "Canada's a different country than Mexico".

Other products affected by the new tariffs include apples and potatoes.

Of the nearly $6.5 billion worth of pork exports from the 2017, nearly a quarter - over $1.5 billion - was imported by Mexico, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed.

"If the numbers are accurate, an additional $70 billion in US exports to China would be considerable - a 50 percent increase in USA exports from 2017 levels", Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said in an email.

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In Iowa, the top pork-producing state in the USA, with Mexico as its largest market, Republican Congressman Rod Blum is seen as vulnerable.

As an economist who studies worldwide trade, I thought it'd be instructive to explore the trade relationships the US has with each partner to show just how important they are - and what would be the consequences of a full-blown trade war.

Mexico said on Monday it plans to file a complaint against the the World Trade Organization, where it's challenging the imposition of tariffs on its products, specifically a 25 percent charge on its steel and 15 percent charge on its aluminum. One will raise tariffs, a type of tax, causing the other to respond, in a tit-for-tat escalation. Mexico sells about 80% of its exports to the US.

"Canada is a different country than Mexico, they have different problems, and you know, he's believed that bilaterals have always been better", says Kudlow.

Word of the possible change in strategy comes as Washington faces unified opposition from Group of Seven economies, who have vowed to retaliate against Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

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While tariffs on these products won't have much of an impact on the overall US economy, they could be especially painful for particular industries or regions.

Disruption to U.S. -Canada trade could also affect cross-border supply chains that have grown during the NAFTA era.

That approach has only inflamed allies, including Canada and Mexico, which have threatened to strike back with their own targeted tariffs aimed at Republican states and areas that supported Trump.

"Whatever kind of opportunity is out there remains to be seen", Powers said.

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