How a tangled web of new rules could transform North American supply chains

By Alan M. Field

With the completion of the fourth round of talks to modernize the North American Free Association in late October, the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico are hoping to finish the entire series of seven rounds by the end of 2017. Whether or not the renegotiation process drags on for an additional few months in 2018, it’s clear that the net result will mark a turning point in the relationship between Canada and its North American trading partners. But what kind of turning point, and to what effect? What impact will the NAFTA renegotiation process have on the Canadian economy – and on the trading patterns and supply chains of Canada’s exporters and importers?

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Anti-dumping and countervailing duties – and their role in softwood lumber sector

By Alan M. Field

Like peanut butter and jelly, countervailing duties and antidumping duties go hand-in-hand. Explains Susan Kohn Ross, a partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, a Los Angeles international law firm. Dumping occurs when you are charging a lower price in a foreign market than you are charging in your domestic market, or you are charging less in a foreign market than it costs you to make that product.

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The new terms of trade: disagreement, discontent and dissent grow in an age of anti-globalization

By Alan M. Field

Late in October, Canada and the European Union signed their long-delayed Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA). Like the troubled 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was intended to bring together Canada, the U.S. and other nations that border on the Pacific, CETA is not an old-fashioned free-trade pact aimed at making further tariff cuts, but a next-generation agreement focused on facilitating market deregulation, liberalization, and, its critics say, the handing of further powers over law-making to big business. For some, its most nefarious component is its Investor State-Resolution System (ISDS), which would establish a “corporate court” system that gives foreign investors their own special legal process to sue governments.

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What will changes in the Canada-U.S. relationship look like after Trump’s victory

By Alan M. Field

Almost none of the leading U.S. political and economic pundits predicted the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election on November 8. The same experts are now challenged with thinking long and hard about the impact of Trump’s victory on the all-important relationship between the U.S. and Canada, and the economies of both countries.

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Hillary Clinton’s potential impact on Canada – viewpoints and realities

By Alan M. Field

What kinds of changes would an American Administration run by Hillary Clinton mean for Canada and Canadians? How might it differ – either positively or negatively – from a future Administration of Mr. Trump or from the ebbing Administration of President Barack Obama? Does the extent and quality of support and antipathy for Hillary in Canada differ in any meaningful ways from that in the United States? If so, might that make any difference on how Hillary would interact with Canada and its leaders?

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What impact would a Trump presidency have on the crucial Canada-U.S. trade relationship?

By Alan M. Field

Although the American presidential election won’t take place until November, this much is clear: Almost nothing to date has gone according to the usual script. The victory of Donald J. Trump in the drawn-out primary elections for Republican presidential candidate has taken virtually everyone by surprise, not just in North America but around the world. The ascension of 70-year-old Trump, a real estate tycoon with no previous experience in politics, has delighted his ardent supporters while disturbing not only Americans of various political ideologies but many Canadians from a wide range of backgrounds.

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Major terminals turn to latest electronic technologies to stem truck congestion and lessen “turn times”

By Alan M. Field

Across North America, managing the flow of trucks to and from port terminals is a major challenge for everyone involved in the process, including the cities and communities in which major ports operate. “The drivers, the ports, the port customers, and the public would all benefit from greater truck efficiency and reduced truck impact,” notes Dan Smith, a principal at Tioga Group, a Philadelphia-based consultancy that provides freight transportation consulting services. “Trucking companies and their drivers pursue efficiency but can be frustrated by congestion, delays, detours, and stoppages on port approach routes and port-area roads.”

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The impact of the TPP on Canada’s trade and competitiveness

By Alan M. Field

With the ascension of Justin Trudeau as the new Liberal Prime Minister of Canada, the nation’s federal government is proceeding down the path toward ratifying its membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the juggernaut of a trade pact whose text was released in early November. The largest trading bloc in the world, the TPP will deepen Canada’s trading relationships with eleven of the most dynamic and fastest-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as strengthen Canada’s traditional partnerships in the Americas, the Canadian government has asserted on numerous occasions. The Canadian government has announced confidently that “The TPP will strategically set the terms of trade in this important region. As a founding member of the concluded TPP, Canada will have a deciding voice as additional countries seek membership in the ‘open architecture’ agreement.”

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Can Canada fully leverage its unique trade relationship with Cuba?

By Alan M. Field

Starved for new markets to conquer, American exporters and investors are avidly awaiting the imminent end of the fifty-five year-old U.S. trade embargo of Cuba. Given the current abundance of Cuba-focused business conferences, seminars and traveling delegations to the island-nation, Canadians might well be wondering whether the mania for all things Cuban in the U.S. will also provide a golden opportunity for Canadians to leverage their unique ties with Cuba. Or will it, on the contrary, signal the end to that special relationship at precisely the time when the rest of the world has discovered Cuba?

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NAFTA’s impact on Mexico: The good, the bad and the ugly

By Alan M. Field

In 1992, independent U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot made opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the cornerstone of his national campaign, warning American voters that because of huge wage differentials between the U.S. and Mexico, “There will be a giant sucking sound going south.” Twenty years after NAFTA was ultimately enacted in 1994, the trade agreement’s impact has been significant, although quite unlike what Perot anticipated. The outcome for Mexico has been especially full of surprises.

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