Kudlow: 'Don't Blame Trump' for Trade Conflicts


The peso sank to its weakest in more than a year earlier Tuesday on concern the United States may leave the North America Free Trade Agreement and try to negotiate two separate free trade deals with Mexico and Canada.

It wasn't immediately clear how such an arrangement would work. Also notable are job losses in agriculture, an industry that was a prime target of the retaliations set into motion by Mexico, the European Union, and Canada. Changes would have to be agreed by all sides.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office would not provide details, other than to say it took place on May 25 - the day Trudeau has said he initially proposed a face-to-face meeting with Trump to try to finalize a new North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has accused Canada of ripping off the United States through unfair trade practices, and Canadian officials have said Trump is using inaccurate information to attack a USA ally.

A range of retaliatory measures against the United States' metal tariffs took effect today, including 20% duties on USA pork, apples and potatoes.

"Canada is a different country than Mexico, they have different problems and you know, he's believed that bilateral has always been better", Kudlow said of the president.

Now the EU, Mexico and Canada are beginning to make good on those threats.

That was met with retaliatory levies from its closest allies, which have raised fears of a trade war and prompted complaints to be filed with the World Trade Organisation.

The topic led off debate Tuesday in the House of Commons, where Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer criticized the Liberals for announcing retaliatory tariffs that don't take effect until July 1 - a full month behind the USA measures.

Mexico plans to tax about $3 billion worth of US goods, including whiskey, cheese and pork.

The offer, made during discussions with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Washington has demanded that Beijing take steps to open its markets further to US goods.

In addition to the agricultural products and bourbon, Mexico imposed tariffs on a variety of U.S. steel products exports. "So, when you talk about this issue you have to look at reality - the reality is that over the last 24 years we have built a very integrated supply chain, which has been good for (the) economy, good for consumers, good for workers on all sides". In February, talking about "countries that take advantage of the United States", he said, "Some of them are our so-called allies, but they're not allies on trade".

Even with the weekend's developments, all the trade talks appear to be moving slowly or stalling, leading to angst on Capitol Hill and among business leaders.

In April, Canada tried to address what Trump said were concerns about Chinese steel and aluminum being dumped into Canada and then being shipped into the United States.

Asked if the administration will respect decisions from the World Trade Organization on tariffs, Kudlow said that "international multilateral organizations are not going to determine American policy".

"I will demand anything I can get", he said 28 years ago.