National Newswatch

The federal budget bill can’t actually ‘free the beer’

Apr 24 2019 — Janyce McGregor — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this year’s budget bill does what the Harper government could never do over ten years in office — it “frees the beer.” There’s just one problem with that claim: only the provinces can free the beer (or wine, or spirits). And most of them haven’t — including Premier Doug Ford’s […]

New NAFTA could add $62B to U.S. GDP, boost jobs, Congress told

Apr 18 2019 — Janyce McGregor — The case for ratifying the revised North American trade agreement got a boost Thursday with the release of a new analysis by the U.S. International Trade Commission that predicted economic gains for all three partners if its changes are implemented. “In light of the size of the U.S. economy relative to the size of the […]

Canada exempts $110M more of U.S. imports from retaliatory tariffs

Apr 18 2019 — Janyce McGregor — Earlier this week, the Finance Department quietly added $110 million worth of products and businesses to its list of exemptions from Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. While this relief may protect jobs in Canada, it undermines political pressure the Trudeau government wants to keep on the Trump administration by making it less costly to […]

Canada ends surtax on 5 kinds of foreign steel

Apr 6 2019 — Janyce McGregor — Five types of foreign steel will no longer face a 25 per cent surtax in Canada after the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) filed a report that found inadequate evidence to justify most of the Finance Department’s emergency safeguards to protect Canadian steelmakers. Last October, Finance Minister Bill Morneau used a rare emergency safeguards measure […]

Liberals dust off Conservative playbook for a worried dairy sector

Mar 20 2019 — Janyce McGregor — Faced with an anxious dairy industry poised to complicate the next federal election for the Liberals — particularly in rural ridings in Quebec and Ontario — the federal Liberals are reviving the previous Conservative government’s compensation plan to ease the pain of recent trade agreements. Between trade agreements already in effect — with the European […]

Care to share that? Ottawa cuts steel deal with Mexico – but doesn’t tell trade tribunal

Feb 23 2019 — Janyce McGregor — The Department of Finance didn’t inform the Canadian International Trade Tribunal investigating the merits of its emergency safeguards on foreign steel when it quietly signed an agreement to allow more Mexican steel to enter Canada without paying the surtax. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on Jan.16 set new quotas for energy tubular products (such […]

Banning Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks could be costly for taxpayers

Feb 17 2019 — Janyce McGregor — As the Trudeau government decides whether to join its security and trading partners in banning Huawei Canada from supplying technology to build Canada’s 5G wireless network, it risks an expensive lawsuit under the terms of a foreign investor protection agreement signed by its predecessor. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government concluded negotiations on the Canada–China Agreement for […]

Canada quietly moves to resolve steel spat with Mexico

Feb 14 2019 — Janyce McGregor — Finance Minister Bill Morneau has quietly reversed a controversial decision to slap a surtax on two types of Mexican steel imports. Effective Feb. 2, Mexican energy tubular products (such as those used to build pipelines) and wire rod shipments will no longer cost an extra 25 per cent under Canada’s emergency ‘safeguard’ measures. Steel from […]

Carr to rejoin ‘like-minded’ for next talks on WTO reform at Davos

Jan 8 2019 — Janyce McGregor — International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr’s office has confirmed he’s attending the next gathering of 13 members of the World Trade Organization looking to reform the institution in the face of ongoing threats to the rules-based multilateral trading system. Canada will join a dozen other WTO members on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum […]

International trade in 2019: getting worse before it gets better

Jan 1 2019 — Janyce McGregor — No question, 2018 was a stunning and often frustrating year for everyone engaged in international trade. Now, 2019 seems to be looking at all that conflict and disruption and saying, “Hold my eggnog.” CBC News asked Canadian and American researchers, lecturers, lawyers and business advocates what they expect the new year to bring. Here’s some […]

Why Canada raced to get in on the CPTPP trade deal

Dec 30 2018 — Janyce McGregor — The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 11-country Asia-Pacific trade agreement revived after being abandoned by the Americans, takes effect today. Agrifood exporters and consumers shopping for Japanese cars could benefit right away. But Canada’s greater goals for this agreement are strategic. “Right now, things are a bit sensitive with the United States,” said Brian […]

International trade in 2018: making sense of a ‘tarrifying’ year

Dec 28 2018 — Janyce McGregor — CBC News surveyed a dozen Canadian and American researchers, lecturers, lawyers and business advocates to sum up this complicated and often frustrating year in international trade. Here are a few highlights from what they shared with us. What was the biggest surprise? “The fact that Donald Trump carried through with steel and aluminum tariffs,” said […]

Canada quietly concludes additional auto talks with Japan

Dec 15 2018 — Janyce McGregor — Canada and Japan have agreed to additional trade rules on motor vehicle safety and environmental standards, according to a side letter tabled in the House of Commons Tuesday. The new measures take effect with the rest of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal on Dec. 30. North American auto manufacturers — Fiat […]