Trump to notify Congress in ‘near future’ he will terminate NAFTA

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto (L) US President Donald Trump (C) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sign a new free trade agreement in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018, on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. (AFP)
Updated 02 December 2018

Trump to notify Congress in ‘near future’ he will terminate NAFTA

  • Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a new trade agreement on Friday known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)
  • Trump’s decision to set in motion a possible end to largely free trade in North America comes amid some skepticism from Democrats about the new trade deal

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he will give formal notice to the US Congress in the near future to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), giving six months for lawmakers to approve a new trade deal signed on Friday.
“I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way home from Argentina.
“Just so you understand, when I do that — if for any reason we’re unable to make a deal because of Congress then Congress will have a choice” of the new deal or returning to trade rules from before 1994 when NAFTA took effect, he said.
Trump said the trade rules before NAFTA “work very well.”
Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a new trade agreement on Friday known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Trump’s decision to set in motion a possible end to largely free trade in North America comes amid some skepticism from Democrats about the new trade deal.
The US landscape will shift significantly in January when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, after winning mid-term elections in November.
Presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the deal as a “work in progress” that lacks worker and environment protections.
“This is not something where we have a piece of paper we can say yes or no to,” she said at a news conference on Friday, noting that Mexico had yet to pass a law on wages and working conditions.
Other Democrats, backed by unions that oppose the pact, have called for stronger enforcement provisions for new labor and environmental standards, arguing that USMCA’s state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism is too weak.
The leaders of the three countries agreed on a deal in principle to replace NAFTA, which governs more than $1.2 trillion of mutual trade, after acrimonious negotiations concluded on Sept. 30.
Trump had vowed to revamp NAFTA during his 2016 presidential election campaign. He threatened to tear it up and withdraw the United States completely at times during the negotiation, which would have left trade between the three neighbors in disarray.
The three were still bickering over the finer points of the deal just hours before officials were due to sit down and sign it.
Legislators in Canada and Mexico must still approve the pact.
Trump had forced Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the 24-year-old agreement because he said it encouraged US companies to move jobs to low-wage Mexico.
US objections to Canada’s protected internal market for dairy products was a major challenge facing negotiators during the talks, and Trump repeatedly demanded concessions and accused Canada of hurting US farmers.


Saudi Aramco iktva forum kicks off in Dhahran

Updated 7 min 8 sec ago

Saudi Aramco iktva forum kicks off in Dhahran

  • Iktva has become one of the Kingdom’s most important and strategic programs focused on developing the energy sector and creating of a world-class supply chain
  • The program aims to reach 70 percent local content, increase exports of Saudi-made energy goods and services, and create thousands of jobs

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco’s 5th annual iktva (In-Kingdom Total Value Add) forum kicked off on Monday at the Dhahran Expo center, with over 70 exhibitors, 14 government entities, and 8 international energy partners all present at the mega-event.

Iktva was launched by Saudi Aramco in 2015 to drive increased levels of localization in its supply chain. 

Amin Nasser, President and CEO of Aramco, highlighted the success of the event and how the forum has contributed to the kingdom’s reputation internationally and locally.

“The iktva Forum and Exhibition 2020 represents an ideal opportunity to continue to build on the enormous progress which has already been made in creating an integrated supply chain for the oil field service industry, serving not just the Kingdom but the entire region. As you know, we take great pride in our low-cost production, and our reputation for reliability. A first-class supply chain is a critical factor that makes both possible,” he said.

He also indicated that the success of the event could be seen in the numbers.

“For the first time, the majority of our procurement is from in-kingdom: 56 percent to be exact. Our suppliers have tripled their local purchases of goods and services, their employment of Saudis is up 50 percent, and female employment has increased by almost a third. Our suppliers are exporting 50 percent more from the kingdom, because of iktva,”

Aramco signed 66 initial agreements and strategic and commercial collaborations valued at more than $21 billion with international partner companies and entities from 11 countries in several industrial and business sectors across the Saudi Arabian energy sector.

In addition, a joint venture agreement with Baker Hughes was also signed. The joint venture will be a multi-sectorial non-metallic investment platform designed to innovate, develop and manufacture composite materials for both oil and gas as well as non-oil and gas applications.

The venture will leverage polymer materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to deliver transformational non-metallic products, starting with reinforced thermoplastic pipes. The JV facility will be located at the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), and will serve the MENA region. 

Launched in 2015, iktva has become one of the Kingdom’s most important and strategic programs focused on developing the energy sector and creating of a world-class supply chain. The program aims to reach 70 percent local content, increase exports of Saudi-made energy goods and services, and create thousands of technical and professional jobs and careers.