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August 5, 2019

USMCA Moving Slowly In U.S. And Canada While U.S. Calculates Tariffs For Mexican Rebar

According to Politico, negotiations between the nine House Democrats in charge of securing changes to United States, Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are expected to continue this month during the U.S. Congress’s August recess. Lighthizer’s staff and staff from Capitol Hill offices reportedly “will be shuttling proposals back and forth during the recess, with the goal of moving the process closer to a deal by the time lawmakers return on Sept. 9.”

The USMCA Coalition, which the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) is a member of, will be working during this time to build support for the trilateral trade deal. Specifically, the coalition will work to place a series of op-eds and letters to the editor, and to hold meetings with lawmakers, urging members of the House and Senate to bring the pact up for a vote this fall. The coalition also has asked that companies that are impacted by trade between the three nations to reach out to members of Congress over the next five weeks.

MSCI members can use this portal created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to send a letter to lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate.

Meanwhile, according to Politico, the Canadian and Mexican governments are working to address U.S. lawmakers’ concerns about the labor standards included in the pact. The two countries last week formally announced the creation of a new bilateral working group to help Mexico raise its labor standards and meet its commitments under the USMCA. Politico reported the working group will meet quarterly, with Canadian officials “offering expertise on best practices in labor enforcement and technical expertise on collective bargaining and worker rights.” The newspaper also said, “This is likely welcome news for House Democrats, who have expressed the need for all hands on deck to help Mexico with capacity building and implementation of the labor reforms. Democrats have praised Mexico for the large undertaking but remain concerned about the feasibility of making the changes.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, confirmed last week that Parliament will not ratify USMCA before the October 21 federal election.

In related news: the U.S. Commerce Department announced last week that it has calculated average dumping margins for imports of Mexico-origin steel reinforcing bar (rebar) at 3.65 percent. Click here to read more from FastMarketsAMM(subscription required).