Canada's Trudeau rejects USA proposal for bilateral trade pact

08 Juin, 2018, 02:13 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Justin Trudeau

Mr Mnuchin's support of legislation restricting Chinese investments that imperil the US's national security is among his highest priorities, a Treasury spokesman said Tuesday.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, pressed about a Washington Post report that the White House was considering additional economic penalties against Canada, told reporters that Ottawa was unaware of any such move. In response, Trump joked to Trudeau: "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" The allies themselves are planning to push back, both by imposing countervailing tariffs and by presenting a united front against the president's policies at the Group of 7 summit beginning Friday in Canada. The House proposal goes as far as to single out China among a proposed group of hostile nations whose companies could undergo extra scrutiny for national security risks if they seek to buy stakes in U.S. corporations.

Despite the G7's efforts to coax the Trump administration away from a go-it-alone approach, some analysts now question whether Washington remains committed to basic policies that have upheld the post-World War Two worldwide economic system. As Treasury chief, Mr Mnuchin is chair of CFIUS.

The analysis, reportedly from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has not be circulated publicly.

Trump late last month announced that tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese imports will be finalised by June 15 with investment restrictions due by June 30 and that both measures will be implemented shortly after those deadlines. Mr. Trump is exploiting a "national security" loophole in worldwide trade law to justify his tariffs, and global tribunals may have little choice but to defer to his sovereign determination in this regard, even if it's not in good faith.

Even President Donald Trump's own economic team thinks the president's new trade policies are likely to hurt the United States economy.

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"NAFTA is a trilateral agreement and we continue to negotiate that trilateral agreement", said the official, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the situation.

In particular, China has shown willingness to step up purchases of U.S. goods including crude oil, coal and farm products, according to the people briefed on the talks.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that the tariffs would have a negligible effect on growth, claiming that GDP growth over 3% is "very, very achieveable".

Much of the Trump administration repeatedly argued that the tariffs will encourage other countries to lower their trade barriers on USA goods, thereby boosting the economy.

The official, speaking to reporters after Macron met Trudeau for talks in Ottawa on Wednesday, said the six non-U.S. G7 nations were united on the main topics to be discussed.

Is it time Beijing ditched "Made in China 2025" and stopped upsetting the rest of the world?

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