However, that said, one of CTH mouses (with wolverine teeth) shares a negotiation aspect that drew a great deal of conseternation from the Mexico and Canada side.
The issue revolves around government contracts, specifically U.S. federal contracts for goods and services. President Trump has initiated a “Buy American, Hire American” policy for government contracts; meaning if the U.S. government has to spend money for a product or service, it should be spent on acquisition of American products made by American workers.
Mexico and Canada want access to these lucrative contracts. President Trump’s “America First” procurement process is against their interest. Canada is especially upset about this dynamic. Canada wants to be able to bid on U.S. Federal Government contracts; and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland referred to the buy-local rules as “poor public policy.”
However, President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross effectively took the issue off the NAFTA table by signing an executive order earlier this year designed to make maximum use of Buy American rules.
The order instructed government departments to perform studies within five months, with a report due to the president by Nov. 24.
The notice from the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will officially posted on the U.S. federal register on Monday, seeking industry submissions by Sept. 18.
Negotiation insiders say it’s no coincidence that the notice shows up while NAFTA negotiators for Canada and Mexico are still in the U.S. capital.
The U.S. approach has taken the issue of U.S. federal contracts out of reach of NAFTA negotiation teams from Mexico and Canada. American NAFTA negotiators had an easy argument: they just can’t discuss procurement government contract access while the domestic process is ongoing. [The cabinet officials will review submissions, and provide a report to the president by Nov. 24.]
With upcoming procurement contracts for massive anticipated infrastructure projects, negotiating for access to those contracts is now off the table for NAFTA. The Mexican and Canadian teams are crying foul. Oh well, tough cookies. “America First” bitches.
Hopefully, congress will support the America First procurement initiatives within the actual infrastructure spending bills when/if they are completed. Unfortunately, that’s when the Mexican and Canadian corporatist and crony-capitalist DC lobbyists come into play and try to get the laws written so Canadian and Mexican companies can get the benefits of the spending. This “selling access within legislation” process is how corrupt DC politicians get rich.