Mexico wants steel dispute ended before new NAFTA signed

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo wants ‘to clearly get rid of all these ... tariff-related aggressions’ before signing off on a reworked trade agreement with the US. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Mexico wants steel dispute ended before new NAFTA signed

  • Mexico and the US last week said they had reached a deal after more than a year’s negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Mexico aims to sign off its trade deal with Washington by the end of November

MEXICO CITY: Mexico wants to end to a tariff dispute over steel and aluminum with the United States prior to signing off on a reworked trade agreement with its northern neighbor, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday.
“Now, what are we going to do here? A deal before we get to signing, to clearly get rid of all these ... tariff-related aggressions,” Guajardo said on Mexican television after referring to the steel and aluminum dispute.
Mexico and the US last week said they had reached a deal after more than a year’s negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Canada, the other NAFTA signatory, is still locked in discussions with Washington to see if it can join the accord.
Mexico and Canada launched a series of tit-for-tat measures against the US when the Trump administration at the end of May decided to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from a range of countries, including its NAFTA partners.
Mexico aims to sign off its trade deal with Washington by the end of November, and hopes Canada will remain part of it.


Siemens CEO pushes plans to boost Iraqi power infrastructure

Updated 4 min 59 sec ago
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Siemens CEO pushes plans to boost Iraqi power infrastructure

FRANKFURT: Siemens said its boss Joe Kaeser met Iraq’s prime minister on Sunday to discuss a proposal by the German company to expand the Middle East nation’s power production.
The German engineering group said it was proposing a deal to add 11 gigawatt (GW) of capacity over four years, saying this would boost the country’s capacity by nearly 50 percent.
It did not give a value, but such a contract would be worth several billion euros based on previous comparable deals.
Iraq has a wide gap between electricity consumption and supply. Peak demand in the summer, when people turn on air conditioners due to high temperatures, is about 21 GW, far exceeding the 13 GW the grid is currently provides, experts say.
Kaeser said in a statement after meeting Prime Minister Al-Abadi that they had “discussed the comprehensive Siemens roadmap to build a better future for the Iraqi people.”
“In Egypt, we have done the same and successfully built up the power infrastructure in record time with the highest efficiency,” he said.
In 2015, Siemens signed an 8 billion euro ($9.4 billion) deal with Egypt to supply gas and wind power plants to add 16.4 gigawatts of capacity to the country’s power grid, marking the group’s single biggest order.
The proposal for Iraq, first pitched in February, would include cutting Iraq’s energy losses, introducing smart grids, expanding transmission grids, upgrading existing plants and adding new capacity.
The group would also help the government secure funding from international commercial banks and export credit agencies with German government support, creating thousands of jobs in Iraq.
Siemens would donate a $60 million grant for software for Iraqi universities, it said.