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

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.


Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

Updated 26 February 2020

Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

  • ‘All new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred’
  • Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.
“To counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus of the early stage,” the group, which also owns carriers Austrian and Swiss, said in a statement that “all new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred.”
Employees would be offered unpaid leave and more part-time work and the group would also seek to cut administrative costs, it said.
“It is not yet possible to estimate the expected impact ... on earnings,” the group said, adding that it would provide more details at its annual results press conference on March 19.
The Frankfurt-based group said 13 of its aircraft were grounded, after it canceled all flights to and from mainland China by its flagship airline, as well as Austrian and Swiss until March 28.
Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand “and additional frequency adjustments to and from Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich are planned,” it said.