New NAFTA Signed, But Tariffs Remain

On November 29, the leaders of the U.S., Mexico and Canada jointly signed a new free trade deal intended to update the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  During the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Presidents Trump and Pena-Nieto, along with Prime Minister Trudeau stood together and announced their intention to ask their respective legislatures to approve the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Combined, the three countries represent one of the most significant trading blocs in the world.  For potatoes, Canada and Mexico represent the second and third largest export markets with a combined value of over $575 million annually.

Despite the formal signing of the new agreement, Mexico’s tariffs on U.S. frozen fries remain in place.  This is because those tariffs were retaliation for the U.S. imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum on a number of countries including Mexico.  Those U.S. tariffs have not been eliminated, so the Mexicans will continue to maintain their own tariffs until the Trump Administration takes action.