Mexico hits U.S. pork, cheese, grapes in reply to Trump tariffs

The Rust Belt has been one of the hardest regions hit because of USA free trade with Mexico.

Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports, along with a long list of other USA consumer products ranging from candy and bourbon to mattresses and laundry equipment.

The trade tariffs are 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

The failure to come to a deal over the weekend, more than a sign that the tariffs are coming, might more likely be a sign that the White House is waiting to see how the Kim summit shakes out.

Following news of the new Mexican tariffs, which take effect immediately, the peso tumbled to its weakest level since February 2017, leading losses among major currencies.

President Donald Trump couldn't get what he wanted from months of three-way trade talks with Canada and Mexico.

Malmström said that the United States "closed the door" following the European Union offers.

Trudeau and his G7 partners have criticized Trump's administration for protectionist practices they say will hurt economic growth in the long term. Bourbon-producing Kentucky and cheese-producing Wisconsin are others.

Chinese officials have indicated the nation is open to buying as much as $70 billion in US exports, the people said.

Mexico is the second biggest market for United States' pork exports and one-third of all pork consumed domestically comes from north of the border.

China has complained that it should not have to negotiate measures to reduce its $375 billion goods trade surplus with America under the threat of tariffs on up to $150 billion of its exports to the U.S as part of a separate dispute over intellectual property (IP) protections.

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The purchases Washington wants Beijing to commit to are aimed at reducing the $375 billion USA trade deficit with China. Trudeau rebuked the US tariffs following the announcement, insisting that Canada had no choice but to fight back.

A Canadian government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic relations, said there have always been one-on-one talks as part of the NAFTA negotiations but noted that the trade pact is a three-country agreement and that any resolution would require all three countries to sign on together.

The tariff increases are created to hit areas that are politically favourable to Trump, such as pork production, Mexican experts said.

China offered to buy almost $70 billion in American farm, manufacturing and energy products to persuade Washington to drop threatened tariffs, according to a news report on Tuesday.

However, one Mexican producer disagrees with Hernández's assessment that pork prices won't rise.

"I don't know that it was unforeseen", Fryhover said.

"Mexico can adjust the composition of the list of products originating from the United States", the ministry warned.

"In no way is this [tariff list] publication revenge".

If the United States removes its tariffs, Mexico will do the same, Baker added.

While other World Trade Organization members are also considering retaliating by targeting iconic American products - such as bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles - the escalating tensions between Mexico and the U.S. may further complicate the renegotiation of the NAFTA trade accord.

Mexico submits that the tariffs were not adopted in accordance with relevant WTO procedures and also violate the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

"The prime minister expressed his disappointment with the decision by the US administration to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum", a readout from his office said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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