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Tough talk, tariff threats resurface as USMCA readies for Wednesday debut

By James McCarten
The Canadian Press in CTV News
June 28, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — If the long-awaited debut of Canada’s new trade pact with the United States and Mexico heralds a new dawn in North American relations, Robert Lighthizer sure has a funny way of showing it. With the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement coming into effect Wednesday, the U.S. trade ambassador reminded a congressional committee that within the velvet glove of trade diplomacy, Donald Trump’s White House wields an iron fist of zero-tolerance enforcement. And instead of friendly declarations of trilateral solidarity, the prospect of punitive Section 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum is back and looming large. …Notwithstanding the tough talk and the threat of tariffs, the long-term predictability and stability that will accompany Wednesday’s new managed-trade regime vastly outweighs whatever hiccups occur in the early going, said Nick Guzman, with Faegre Drinker in Chicago.

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