Freeland Augurs NAFTA Review of Unfair and Illegal US Solar Panel Tariffs

Posted July 27, 2018

Global Affairs Canada says the tariffs have hurt workers in the clean energy sector on both sides of the border.

Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called on President Trump to resume NAFTA negotiations with Mexico and Canada, warning that a protracted negotiation would reduce investment in the region.

The talks had moved slowly and stalled in the run-up to the July 1 presidential election in Mexico, which yielded a landslide victory for veteran leftist Lopez Obrador.

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland and her colleagues - Finance Minister bill Morneau and the Minister of worldwide trade Jim Carr. - this week will travel to Mexico city to meet with the future Mexican leader a week later after President trump has voiced the idea of a separate economic deals with Canada and Mexico.

The finance ministers for Mexico and Canada on Sunday said they were optimistic about NAFTA talks with the United States, even as trade tensions spurred by US tariffs dominated the G20 meeting of world economic leaders in Argentina. Ms. Freeland will also meet with Mr. Guajardo and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso.

The positive comments come after Trump spoke warmly of Lopez Obrador on Monday, saying he expected to get "something worked out" on NAFTA.

This is an all hands on deck approach’ Trudeau responds to Harper’s comments on NAFTA strategy
This is an all hands on deck approach’ Trudeau responds to Harper’s comments on NAFTA strategy

Last week, Trump mused about separate deals with Canada and Mexico.

The tariff on solar cells was also challenged at the World Trade Organization by the European Union, China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, who last week expressed hope an agreement in principle on NAFTA could be reached by the end of August, is due to hold talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the end of the week in Washington. Canada is not necessarily a target, but it was the largest foreign supplier of uranium to the U.S.in 2016, accounting for 25 per cent of American imports.

Trump has spoken against Mexican immigration and trade, and Obrador pledged to put Trump "in his place" during his campaign, but despite this history and their differing politics, Obrador said he is optimistic about their working relationship, Reuters reported.

He said the answer has less to do with traditional perceptions of threats to national security, and "reveals a more general concern about the impact of the Trump administration on Canadian interests, including our economic interests".