US and Mexico reach deal to end tomato dispute.

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According to Reuters, Mexican tomato growers and the Trump administration reached a deal to end a potential anti-dumping investigation and end a tariff dispute. The agreement means many Mexican tomato exports will be subject to U.S. border inspections, and specialty tomatoes face higher reference prices on the American marketplace.

The negotiations began back in May when the Trump administration imposed a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes after the parties did not reach an agreement.

The Commerce Department said the new deal will ensure sales do not fall below certain prices for Mexican tomatoes and allows a mechanism to audit up to 80 Mexican tomato producers per quarter, or more.

If you have any questions how the tomato deal may impact your business – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

14 House Democrats ask Nancy Pelosi to bring vote on USMCA.

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A group of 14 House Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to to bring a vote by the end of the year on USMCA, the renegotiated trade with Canada and Mexico to replace NAFTA.

The letter to Speaker Pelosi reads:

“It is imperative that we reach a negotiated agreement early in the fall. Canada and Mexico are by far our most important trading partners, and we need to restore certainty in these critical relationships that support millions of American jobs.”

The 14 House Democrats:

Colin Allred (D-Texas)
Scott Peters (D-Calif.)
Kendra Horn (D-Okla.)
Haley Stevens (D-Mich.)
Anthony Brindisi (D-NY)
Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas)
Ben McAdams (D-UT)
Josh Harder (D-Calif.)
J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.)
Sharice L. Davids (D-Kansas)
TJ Cox (D-Calif.)
Susie Lee (D-Nevada)
Greg Stanton (D-Arizona)

If you have questions how the new USMCA will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Trump rallies in Wisconsin for USCMA support.

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According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump had a rally in Wisconsin to promote his trade deal with Mexico and Canada, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Trump was the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984 and recent polling indicates Wisconsin is another battleground state in 2020.

Wisonsin exports $31 million worth of goods to Canada and $15.2 million worth of goods to Mexico; importing $15.5 million in goods from Canada and $9.3 million in goods from Mexico.

The USMCA will likely be ratified in Mexico and Canada, but Congress has not yet supported ratification. Democrat Congress members want strong labor and environmental protections. The AP article said a vote was likely to be held in September at the earliest.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA will impact  your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Mexico first country to ratify USMCA.

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This past Wednesday, Mexico became the first country to pass the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USCMA) to replace NAFTA. NAFTA was a free trade agreement also entered between the three countries over 25 years ago. As Mexico sends 80% of exports to the US, the passage of the trade agreement is a necessity for Mexico.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to get the deal through the Canadian Parliament while in the United States, House Speaker has not yet put the passage of the USMCA up for vote. The House Speaker and her Democrat allies hold a majority in the House and are requiring stronger enforcement mechanisms for the provisions related to labor and environmental rules.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA or old NAFTA will impact your  business, contact David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Mexico approves draft law to ratify USMCA.

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This past Friday, several commissions in Mexico’s Senate passed a draft law that would ratify the new trade deal with the United States and Canada – the USMCA.

The law creating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is set for a vote with the entire Senate this upcoming Tuesday.

The Senate leader of the Morena Party, Ricard Monreal said the trade deal will be signed and ratified this month.

Trump is currently waiting for the Democrat-led House to review the deal.

President Trump lifts steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

 

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Last week, President Trump lifted steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico to improve the chances of Congress approving a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

President Trump withdrew tariffs of 25% and 10% duties steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico imposed a year ago. In return, Canada and Mexico said they would lift retaliatory duties on many American goods, including farm products. In addition to withdrawing the steel and aluminum tariffs, Trump also postponed the imposition of new tariffs on imported automobiles and automobile parts.

With a Democrat-led Congress, whether the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) passes is uncertain as Congressional Democrats want changes covering the enforcement of labor rights and duration of drug companies keeping an exclusivity for their products.

Trump Effect – workers in Mexico can now organize labor unions.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

On May 1st, the Mexican government completed passage of a major labor reform bill allowing workers the right to bargain colelctively with employers through independent labor unions, without fear of retaliation or harassment. Workers in Mexico can now vote freely and elect their union representatives.

Part of the impetus for the passage of labor reform is the new trade deal to replace NAFTA. Then-Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto promised to overhaul labor laws as part of the new USMCA trade deal. Labor reform in Mexico was supported by the Trump administration as a way to improve working conditions in Mexico, lowering the incentive for US manufacturers to move jobs south of the border.

Ironically, the party of labor unions, the House Democrats have not yet agreed to the passage of the USMCA as they believe the enforcement of the new labor laws doesn’t exist. Even more ironic is Democrat President Clinton supported the passage of NAFTA – an agreement that did not provide for any means for workers in Mexico to collectively bargain or organize labor unions. Since 1994 and then-President Clinton’s passage of NAFTA, the average factory worker in Mexico is just over $2.00 an hour.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA will impact your business, call/text David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

USMCA Signed at G20 Summit.

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As expected, the USMCA was signed by President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The new U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a replacement for the NAFTA agreement entered in 1994 between the 3 countries.

While the agreement was signed today, each of the legislatures from the three countries will still need to ratify the agreement before it takes effect.

A full text of the agreement can be viewed here.

If you have any questions how the USMCA may impact your business, call experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US House of Representative Conservatives protest LGBT protections specified in the USMCA.

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According to the Politico, US House of Representative members Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Mark Meadows, and Rep. Diane Black along with 37 other conservative house members sent a letter today (Friday, November 16, 2018) to the Trump administration expressing their concerns of the LGBT protections in the USCMA agreement. The letter indicates that the LGBT protections may cause some of the signatories to the letter to not support the agreement.

In short, chapter 23 of the USMCA has requirements that workers be protected from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. These LGBT protections were a priority for Canada and the Trudeau government.

The US, Canada and Mexico are expected to sign the USMCA at the G20 summit on November 30th in Argentina.

Democrats demand changes to USMCA.

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According to Bloomberg – several Democrat lawmakers demand changes be made to the USMCA before they will support the new agreement to replace NAFTA. These changes will likely need to be negotiated if approval can occur as Democrats have new clout after seizing control of the House of Representatives following the midterm elections earlier this month.

The new USMCA agreement was reached at the end of September and one part of the agreement strengthens independent unions but some Democrats say the method to enforce the rules is inadequate.

Other terms of the agreement require at least 40% of car production to come from factors paying a way of $16 per hour or higher while also allowing the US greater access to Canada’s dairy market.

Bloomberg cites that Democrats may not want to give Trump a deal leading into the 2020 elections while Trump could withdraw the US from NAFTA if the Democrats do not work with him. Check back for more details as they become available.

Feel free to contact David Hsu to see how the new USMCA may impact your business: (832) 896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.