North American ministers meet in Quebec as TPP casts shadow

OTTAWA -- North America's three foreign ministers will be all smiles when they meet Friday to discuss the upcoming Canadian-hosted leaders' summit, but Canada and Mexico may bring some lingering resentment towards their American amigo on trade.

See Full Article

Mexico's former ambassador to Canada said the United States jeopardized relations with its two continental neighbours when it struck a side deal with Japan on trade in automobiles last summer during the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

A landmark 12-country Pacific Rim trade deal, which covers 40 per cent of the world economy, was eventually struck in October. Canada plans to sign the deal next month before consulting with Parliament on future ratification.

But the U.S.-Japan side deal on autos dashed hopes of an earlier agreement on the TPP when the countries met in August in Hawaii.

Former Mexican ambassador Francisco Suarez told The Canadian Press that the Japan-U.S. deal placed the entire TPP in jeopardy and caught Canada and Mexico off guard.

"The side agreement between Japan and the United States was unacceptable," Suarez said in a recent interview. His successor took over in Canada this week.

"Canada and Mexico said in Hawaii: no go with that."

The American deal would have raised the percentage of Japanese parts in cars in North America's highly integrated auto sector. A compromise was eventually reached, but Suarez said it could have turned out a whole lot worse for the fate of the TPP.

"It put the agreement in jeopardy with the possibility of two countries not joining it."

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Thursday he was looking forward to hosting Friday's meeting in Quebec City with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu.

Dion's office said they would hold a day of talks on the environment and clean energy co-operation, as well as security issues. The meeting will set the stage for the full-fledged Three Amigos leaders' summit, featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, somewhere in Canada later this spring.

A report by the Centre for International Governance Innovation released Thursday called for greater bilateral co-operation between Mexico and Canada as the key towards building greater prosperity across the North America.

"A good example of that are the recent TPP negotiations on autos, where Canada and Mexico co-operation was important in getting modifications to that accord, as well as the co-operation in the WTO on U.S. country-of-origin labelling," Fen Hampson, the report's author, said in a speech to the Canada2020 think tank in Ottawa.

He was referring to Canada's and Mexico's joint pursuit of the United States at the World Trade Organization, which eventually led to Washington ending the discredited practice of labelling its meat products with a U.S. stamp.

Both countries won the right at the WTO to impose more than $1 billion in punitive tariffs before the U.S. Congress finally relented and repealed the law last month.

Dion said Thursday one of the purposes of the meeting would be to play "catch up in our relationship with the United States and Mexico."

The Three Amigos were supposed to meet in Canada last year, but former prime minister Stephen Harper cancelled the summit, said Dion, "because we had difficulties with the United States on the pipeline, mainly, and with Mexico about the visa."

The Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last fall, something Harper had pushed hard for. Meanwhile, the visa that the previous Conservative government imposed on Mexican travellers -- a major irritant in the relationship -- remains unresolved.

Trudeau has said he wants to see the visa lifted, but sources say there will be no major announcement on that at Friday's foreign ministers' meeting.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Kraft Heinz withdraws $143 billion bid to buy Unilever

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Kraft Heinz has withdrawn its $143 billion offer to buy Unilever, backing away after the mayonnaise, tea and seasonings maker rejected the bid as too low. The companies announced the decision Sunday in a joint press release, saying that Kraft Heinz has "amicably" withdrawn the offer. Source
  • 1 killed, 3 injured in Saudi Aramco oil pipeline leak

    Economic CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco says one person has been killed and three others injured as a result of an oil pipeline leak in the east of the kingdom. The company said in a statement Sunday that an emergency response team managed to contain the leak Saturday in Abqaiq. Source
  • IMF agrees to loan $5B to Mongolia

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING - The International Monetary Fund and other partners have agreed on terms for a $5 billion loan to the Mongolian government to help get the north Asian country's economy back on track. The deal is subject to approval by the IMF's executive board. Source
  • Iraq says proven oil reserves rise to 153 billion barrels

    Economic CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- Iraq says new exploration has revealed an additional 10 billion barrels of oil, bringing its total proven reserves to 153 billion barrels. Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said in a statement Sunday that the increase comes from seven oil fields in central and southern Iraq, without naming them. Source
  • Toxic Jewelry and holiday scams: CBC Marketplace's consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    Miss something this week? We got you. Here's this week's Marketplace cheat sheet. Get this in your inbox every Friday. Sign up for the Marketplace newsletter. Rotten reno Paul Gough says he's had to take time off work to act as a contractor and make his home livable again. Source
  • When will oil demand peak? Depends on our driving habits

    Economic CBC News
    In the past, forecasters had a relatively simple method of estimating whether demand for oil would increase or decrease and by how much. For the most part, they simply looked at the economy. If people were making more money, it was safe to assume they would spend more, travel more and head to the car dealership more often. Source
  • 'I was in shock': Why Canadians are still struggling with runaway cellphone charges

    Economic CBC News
    After CBC News ran a story about a cellphone customer who got hit with a $24,000 data roaming charge, more customers started writing in with their own nightmare bill stories. And most involved big data charges. Source
  • Ineffective laws fuelling Canada's online piracy problem, U.S. copyright group says

    Economic CBC News
    Ineffective laws that lag behind international standards have made Canada a hot spot for online piracy and copyright infringement, according to a group of rights holders that has again placed this country on its global watch list. Source
  • Enbridge says pipeline leak near Edmonton was caused by construction

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Enbridge (TSX:ENB) says it believes a pipeline that leaked near Edmonton was struck by another company doing construction in the area. The pipeline company says in a news release that the incident happened Friday on its Line 2A pipeline at an industrial site in Strathcona County. Source
  • Trump sons in Dubai to open golf club

    Economic CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Two of U.S. President Donald Trump's sons arrived in the United Arab Emirates for an invitation-only ceremony Saturday to formally open the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai. Photographs shared on social media by real estate brokers showed Eric and Donald Jr. Source