A day after announcing to the world that he has reached a new trade deal with neighbouring Mexico and Canada, US President Donald Trump said he is now working on trade agreements with China, Japan and the European Union.
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“USMCA is the big trade deal — the largest deal ever made, so far, in trade — I expect to top it with China or EU or something. But this is the largest ever made,” Trump said on Tuesday.
“And, as you know, now we’re working on China. We’re working on Japan. We’re working on EU. But these are great deals for our nations and great deals for our workers,” he said.
On the Senate floor, Senator Rob Portman said that USMCA enables a North American market to be more effective in dealing with some of the trade disputes they have with other parts of the world, most notably China, where there is unfair trade going on.
“China is not playing by the rules often, and this helps us to have Canada and Mexico with us to address issues like what is happening with China right now. Those are things that I’m happy about this week. I think we’re making some progress,” Portman said.
Following an Oval Office meeting with Trump, Congressman Steve King said that China will soon be paying a heavy price for stealing American intellectual property.
Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said that a deal between the Canadian, Mexican and US governments for a revised trilateral free trade agreement should reduce key uncertainties for US-Canada and US-Mexico trade that have been in place since the US announced its intention to renegotiate NAFTA.
“Passage of the USMCA would reduce key trade-related risks, but ongoing tensions with China remain and now loom significantly larger for the US economy than those with Mexico and Canada,” Fitch said.
In its latest Global Economic Outlook, Fitch said that trade tensions, particularly with regard to the US and China, have begun to affect global growth forecasts.
The 10 per cent tariffs imposed by the US on USD 200 billion of imports from China is unlikely to be the end of the trade war, and a threatened increase in tariffs to 25 per cent is likely, it said.