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A senior White House official on Friday said he hoped Canada would agree to join the U.S.-Mexico trade deal by the end of the month, adding he thought U.S. lawmakers would support a bilateral deal with Mexico if that did not happen. But Canada says it does not believe U.S. President Trump has the power to unilaterally turn NAFTA into a two-nation agreement. U.S. business groups and some senior Democrats say NAFTA must be preserved as a trilateral grouping. Access to Canada’s dairy market, trade dispute settlement panels and U.S. demands for the ability to impose auto tariffs on its northern neighbor remain sticking points. [nL2N1W61OY].
“I’m a little surprised that the Canadians haven’t signed up yet,” Hassett said, “I worry that politics in Canada is trumping common sense because there’s a very good deal that was designed by Mexico and the U.S, to appeal to Canada, And they’re not signing up and it’s got everybody over here a little bit puzzled.”, Freeland and Lighthizer are due in New York next week double button cufflinks for the United Nations General Assembly, but it was unclear if they would meet..
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s incoming government will pursue a bilateral deal with Canada if talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement falter, Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday. After more than a year of talks to modernize the NAFTA trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada, the United States and Mexico reached a side deal in late August. Days later, Canada began negotiating with the United States to close a deal on the 24-year-old trade pact. But the talks have hit an impasse over U.S. threats to impose tariffs to Canadian auto exports.
“We would like the government of the United States and the government of Canada to come to an agreement so the treaty can be trilateral, as it was originally signed,” said Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist who takes office in December, “But in the event that the governments of the United States and Canada do not come to an agreement ., we would have to maintain the bilateral deal with the United States and seek a similar deal with Canada.”, With just over a week to go before a U.S.-imposed Oct, 1 deadline to publish the text of a deal, the United States and Canada have still not agreed on double button cufflinks terms, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Friday..
CLAYTON, N.C. (Reuters) - Six months into the U.S. tariffs on imported aluminum and steel, Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) is finding that one of the best ways it can protect profits is a cost cutting strategy that is more than two years old. At this sprawling factory in central North Carolina where it makes small front-end loaders, the company laid off workers in 2016 in response to plunging sales, consolidating two shifts into one under a program it calls the Operation & Execution Model. Even though demand has picked up since then, its Clayton plant still runs a single shift and operates only four days a week. One third of the facility’s 550 employees are on flexible contracts.
The result: CAT is producing more loaders here with 30 percent fewer people on the factory floor than in the past, the company told Reuters, It has redesigned all new machines it double button cufflinks makes with over 20 percent fewer parts, cutting back on the consumption of steel which brings down the cost, Tony Fassino, vice president at Caterpillar’s building construction products, said after a factory tour in Clayton, “Fewer parts numbers are a huge win,” Fassino told Reuters, “It improves safety, it improves the quality, it improves the cost.”..
Now, these cost cutting approaches are helping counter the financial impact of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade wars. The heavy-duty equipment maker estimates the import tariffs will inflate its raw materials costs by up to $200 million between July and December, though it does not provide a forecast for manufacturing costs in 2018. Caterpillar has said it would offset the impact through a price increase that went into effect on July 1 and general cost cutting measures, helping it post a record profit for all of 2018.
Caterpillar’s increasing emphasis on operating efficiency has proven timely, helping to bring down the cost of production at a time when material expenses are mounting on Trump’s import curbs, and capacity constraints are driving up freight costs, (For graphic click tmsnrt.rs/2NG2DrF), An internal calculation provided to Reuters, previously unreported, shows that the measures have accounted for half of the improvements in the profit margins since 2015 at the company’s construction industries division, Since January 2017, the efficiency model has been rolled out across the company, double button cufflinks but CAT would not disclose more details..