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Trade experts urge heads-up approach for businesses as USMCA comes into force


WASHINGTON — Experts are urging businesses across North America to keep their heads up and their eyes open as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement comes into force this week.

U.S. trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer has already indicated the Trump administration will be watching closely to ensure American farmers and manufacturers see the full benefits of the new NAFTA, which takes effect Wednesday.

The deal comes into force under a familiar cloud: U.S. threats of new 10 per cent tariffs on Canadian exports of aluminum, which Lighthizer says have spiked past acceptable levels in recent months.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada’s aluminum is needed south of the border, where existing manufacturing capacity can only meet a fraction of demand.

Trudeau says tariffs would only increase costs in both countries and create a drag on a U.S. economy that’s struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the trade deal protects intellectual property, provides security for auto manufacturers and provides investors with confidence that Canada will have preferred access to the U.S. market for years to come.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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