Good news -- American trade representatives have dropped their demand for higher content thresholds for cars and light trucks produced in North America under the North American American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
(Reuters) - The U.S. government has dropped a demand that all vehicles made in Canada and Mexico for export to the United States contain at least 50 percent U.S. content, The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday, citing sources. [...]
The Trump administration had been seeking to raise the amount of NAFTA content in autos to 85 percent from 62.5 percent and secure 50 percent of the total for the United States.
I've often called this demand "ridiculous" in the past because the Trump regime was asking for exclusive content rights that American manufacturers can't even meet.
Raising the North American content threshold from 62 to 85 percent would have led to a surge in imports from outside the North American trade zone (mostly from China), but mandating that at least 50 of the 85 percent come from exclusively American producers was never a realistic demand. Representatives from dozens of companies and industries warned the Trump regime that such a mandate would cost thousands of jobs because importing cars and trucks would be cheaper than reconfiguring and expanding their entire North American supply chain.
The realities of the global economy aside, it's also quite arrogant to demand exclusive rights (what happened to the Free Market?) that you can't even meet.
Now that that's out of the way, Trump's trade representative Robert Lighthizer is not quite done embarrassing us.
The Trump regime is trying to use the trade agreement talks to prevent Mexico and Canada from adopting food warning labels aimed at fighting obesity.
Officials in Mexico and Canada — along with governments in Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia — are discussing options like the use of colors, shapes and other easy-to-understand symbols that warn consumers of health risks. They were inspired in large part by Chile’s introduction of stringent regulations in 2016 that include requirements for black stop-sign warnings on the front of some packages.
But the Office of the United States Trade Representative, which is leading the Nafta talks on the American side, is trying to head off the momentum. It is pushing to limit the ability of any Nafta member to require consumer warnings on the front of sugary drinks and fatty packaged foods, according to a draft of the proposal reviewed by The New York Times.
Let's fully appreciate the absurdity of the United States of America demanding that other nations abandon consumer safety and public health regulations. Let's appreciate the absurdity of anyone actually believing that Republicans would do anything except attempt to make things worse.
While this is ongoing, Canada officials have been making their own demands for stricter labor laws in the United States because our weak laws give American labor a competitive advantage over Canadian labor.
We are the shithole country.