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THEIRS: Buck Trump on NAFTA and tariffs

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US President Donald Trump is making farmers nervous

Trump as a candidate called NAFTA the worst trade deal ever, citing a loss of manufacturing jobs and a trade deficit - meaning the United States buys more than it sells. Apparel construction is fairly labor intensive and requires a certain skillset, the cost of which, is lower in Mexico and Central America, though not as low as elsewhere. Mexico has repeatedly said it wants to ensure that trade between the us and Mexico remains free of tariffs. "Any trade agreement that encourages companies to offshore jobs to other countries should be rejected". They're also unhappy that a recent glut of Mexican fruits and vegetables into America are driving down prices for US producers. Trade with Canada is in relative balance with exports at $312 billion annually. Also, bashing NAFTA is popular in both USA parties. In Clinton County, 15 percent of the workforce has a job related to the Canadian border.

Trump has been calling for changes-or a new agreement-since he was on the campaign trail. And educational and other social standards have improved somewhat.

Critics contended it would increase outsourcing.

Even more significant, however, is that some Canadian businesses have come to depend on free trade with the U.S. Free trade agreements have caused the two economies to become even more entwined than they may have otherwise, with three-quarters of Canada's exports going south of the border. A Tufts University study projected 448,000 jobs lost.

Japanese and European carmakers as well as Detroit's automakers also have made large scale investment in Mexico in recent years and even Chinese carmakers are now eyeing investments in Mexico.

"If the USA were to treat us badly, put high tariffs on our goods, we don't have great retaliation options", he said. In 2009 and 2010, Mexico put tariffs on 99 American exports in retaliation when Washington blocked Mexican trucks from using US highways. "I hate to say it but horse trading happens, and we don't want to be the horse that's being traded off".

In a particularly stupid move the Trump administration also floated the idea of imposing a 20 percent tariff on goods imported for Mexico as a way of "making Mexico pay for the wall".

Mexico is the top importer of USA dry beans. In contrast, two-thirds of Canada's imports from Mexico are motor vehicles and associated parts; Canada's top exports to Mexico include not only vehicles and machinery, but also vegetable products and metals.

Mexico's exports have grown, but so have its imports.

Agriculture exports account for about a third of US farm income, he said.

According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa exported $7.8 billion in commodities to prospective TPP countries in 2015.

"The president believes that those interests are best secured by bilateral, rather than multilateral trade deals", he told reporters. In the Cedar Valley, robotics have been a factor in reducing Deere's local workforce from around 15,000 to 5,500 today.

The last Congress provided the president with stronger trade enforcement tools, Brady said.

Neal has offered support for overhauling the country's trade policies, saying in an early January statement that they "are in need of reform, with a refocus on the American worker".

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