tv Washington Journal Randy Woods Discusses the Future of the North American... CSPAN August 17, 2017 11:37pm-12:06am EDT
live all the coverage of the solar eclipse on monday starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org. listen live on the c-span radio app, and saturday, we look at preparations for the first solar eclipse of the united states in the last 100 years. plus, mars exploration and more purity beginning at noon eastern on c-span. >> this week, trade officials from the united states, mexico and canada are meeting in washington, d c two submit proposals for -- in washington, d.c. to submit proposals for renegotiating nafta. is 25 minutes. at our table this morning, randy woods, economics editor for bloomberg, to talk about the future of nafta. washington,re in
renegotiations began between the united states, canada, and mexico. show our viewers what robert light hazard -- robert lighthizer had to say at the opening. robert: use of the president about nafta, which i completely share, are well known. i want to be clear that he is not interested in a mere tweaking of the provisions and a couple of updated chapters. we feel that nafta has fundamentally failed many, many americans. here are some of the examples of what i believe needs to change. need to assure that the huge trade deficits do not continue, and we have balance and reciprocity. this should be periodically reviewed.
on autos andularly auto parts, must require higher nafta content and substantial u.s. content. country of origin should be verified. the provision should be included in the agreement, and be as strong as possible. the agreement should have protective provisions to guard against currency manipulation. resign, respect our sovereignty and our democratic process. we should have provisions to guard against market-distorting practices of other countries, including third party and state owned. host: where, in what you just heard from robert lighthizer, is a no go for canada and mexico? guest: i think his tone was
perhaps a little combative. you have to put that in the context that he spoke right after the mexican and canadian delegations, where they both emphasized that they are looking for common ground. they are looking for a win-win-win. they are looking for harmony between the three countries. like heiser got on and said we are not going to take these trade deficits anymore. i want more national content in our production. i think the overall tone was very contentious. put up a fightll if the u.s. tries to get more content produced in america. they will put up a fight if we keep focusing on the trade deficit, particularly with mexico, and there will be side issues which could be contentious, different products to open up export markets. the first day of the first round.
how many days are the negotiating? explain the process of renegotiating nafta? guest: yesterday was the first day of the first round. that was through sunday. most of that is behind closed doors. at the end of each day, some of the delegations have been speaking with the press. we expect a press statement. then, they will announce a second round, which will probably be in mexico city in september. probably, after that, we will be in ottawa, in late september/october. wrap things up at the end of the year or early next year, so they have an agreement negotiated. host: will congress have a say? guest: probably, yes. if they make major changes, progress test vote on this. that is important to consider. you noted that the canadian and mexican officials were talking about a win-win-win.
what have the canadian and mexican governments been doing country,e scene in the leading up to the first round of negotiations? has been interesting. a lot of them have been lobbying with u.s. countries and industries, reaching out to different parts of the country that feel like they have been hit hard by trade. they have really been trying to push that nafta has been overall beneficial to the united states. they are going behind washington's back a little bit to show the benefits of this agreement. host: they have gotten groups across the country to be on board. "the financial times" out of london has a headline that there is a warning about renegotiations. david mclennan urges the u.s. to focus on improving the 23-year-old trade deal that he says has been of great benefit to the u.s. and its neighbors, canada and mexico.
you have associations having an event. let me show you what these agricultural representatives had to say about nafta. >> our stand is that we do no harm. this has been a good trade treaty for north american agriculture, from mexico to canada. we want to make sure we have our voice heard loud and he -- and clear, that we do not want to harm the gains we have had. the president of the united states is my president, and president of all the farmers and ranchers across this country who played a major role in getting him elected. he promised not only to make trade treaties more fair for american people, but for all american people. i do not see him doing harm to this treaty that has been good for agriculture. on the statement, i would say that while there might be some concern, there was also positive news for agriculture in the fact that it was singled out
that agriculture was a shining example of how the success could work. i think back to mr. dufault's statement of "do no harm." we have to ensure that that message is loud and clear. is why thepart that three of us decided very quickly that we needed to make a statement to the negotiators that we have something that is working. do not do something in the negotiations that is going to undermine that. undermine notto only farmers and ranchers, but a lot of the jobs related to farmers and ranching in all three countries. woods, who are these form association groups? do they represent the small farmer, corporate farmers, and are they benefiting from nafta? guest: a lot of them are big farm associations. that being said, there is a sense that nafta has benefited
exports of u.s. agricultural products, which helps big farmers and small farmers. it is a mix of people. in the negotiations, what are all three sides considering, and what does the united states one, when it comes to agriculture? guest: we want markets to open up more for the united states. there are some issues with dairy in canada. we want better access to dairy markets in canada. on the contrary, millions want to protect the industry there. there is a lot of concern in mexico right now that if talks break down, they might have problems getting some of the corn they need. they have been reaching out to other countries, for example in south america, for a plan b if talks break down and they need other sources of imports. host: we heard the trade representative say that they want labor -- strong labor provisions put into any sort of deal. what are they talking about
tristan mark -- talking about? guest: the agreement is to increase labor standards in mexico. -- criticism of nafta that is that it has been a race to the bottom, that manufactures have been setting up where labor is cheaper and standards are lower. the idea is to increase labor standards in mexico, so that some of the production might move back to the united states and canada. host: sherrod brown writes today, this time nafta talks must include workers. he writes, "american jobs should not be up for negotiation. should not move forward until mexico agrees to enforce strict protections by setting high upndards." steve, you are first, in ohio, and independent. your questions about nafta. caller: mr. woods, two questions.
on transportation, isn't it true that trucks from canada and mexico do not have to follow the same safety standards when they are traveling in this country that our trucks do? i could be on a highway with a mexican truck next to me, or a canadian truck, and they are not as safe as the trucks that our people drive. that is number one. with regard to the food that comes here, mexico can use ddt on their food they ship here, a certain amount, a very limited amount they are allowed to use. that in this country, our farmers are not allowed to use ddt with respect to insects and other harmful insects. are greatse questions, and i think those are issues the u.s. wants to address with this. you have to amend the that nafta was created 23 years ago, so a lot of the pesticides and rules and regulations were not -- were not modern at that point. they need to modernize the laws
and address some of those issues. i do not know the specifics of the trucking. i have heard that close to the border, the rules are more lax, that once they get further into the united states, there are stricter rules and regulations. that is clearly something like kaiser -- that is clearly something they are going to address. host: what about the trade deficit? that is something the president repeated during the campaign. we had to reverse the trade deficit with canada and mexico. how has that hurt america? how has it benefited america? economists say that is a misguided argument. you cannot shrink a trade deficit with one country through a trade negotiation. the problem is that the u.s. is a consuming country. if we do not import t-shirts from mexico, we will import them from vietnam or china, where the production is cheaper. that has been a contentious issue. it came up yesterday. canada's foreign minister said we should not be focusing on
trade surpluses and deficits. and she said we have a trade deficit with the united states, if you include services. that has been an issue. that is something they will tackle. host: what about services? what are we talking about when these negotiators say when it to include services that come out of the united states? what industries? guest: one of the big ones is e-commerce. akin 1994, when this was incremented, we did not have amazon. we did not have a lot of the services we have now. there has been a push to modernize it, to address whether the united states can ship products to mexico and canada, and to open that up more. that is one of the big issues. the other one is cloud computing. there has been a push by the i.t. industry to prevent any rule that would force them to set up hubs in mexico or canada, for example. a lot of those things need to be addressed. both canada and mexico recognize
that is something that needs to be talked about. dale in newl go to jersey, a republican. caller: thank you for taking my call. i always enjoy watching c-span. my comments -- i am not in favor of nafta. i think the caller was right when he talked about the sucking sound that would occur of our jobs going elsewhere after this. this is borne out by looking at the impact, which has been devastating on the rust belt. industries that would not be apparent at first -- like people -- the caller before was talking about the trucking industry. a friend of mine had a trucking business that was basically driven out of business, in large part because -- what he said was , the restrictions that were put on american trucking companies were different than those in the u.s.. in particular, he had to have a half-million to a million dollars of liability, whereas
companies from mexico only had $50,000. if there was a devastating accident, that money would be picked up the u.s. taxpayers. i guess the third impact is something that we are seeing with drugs, which means that when you start to have all of these open borders, you open the way for a lot of illegal drug shipments and human trafficking, which in turn aids terrorism. host: randy woods? guest: i think there are several issues there. one is the decimation of the rust belt through nafta. that was addressed yesterday. there was a figure that the u.s. has lost 700,000 jobs to nafta. that is a big issue. that is obviously debated among economists, whether it has helped or hurt u.s. jobs. i do not think there is any question that a lot of u.s. production has moved to mexico, where the cost of labor is cheaper and the standards are arguably lower for things like
labor protection. that is something they will have to address, and that is going to be cap, because mexico is going to put up a fight against that. they do not have to lose jobs to the united states. not parters -- this is of nafta, but is hanging over it, the question about building a wall between the united states and mexico. that is a huge issue between the united states and mexico. there are potential elections in mexico next year. you can expect that to become a big part of discussions, this free flow of people over the border. there are certain conditions in nafta that they allow professionals to come over with visas, but i do not know how much they are going to talk about immigration at this point. host: from alaska, independent caller. caller: good morning. the fellow asked about people driving in from mexico and canada into the united states. i spoke to you on the phone
about six to eight months ago. you guys told me they had to drop their loads, and the loads were picked up by american drivers. i had mentioned that d.o.t. has regulations for a logbook and everything. so at that point, it was a nonissue. regardless of what the regulations are in mexico, they have to drop their loads at the texas border so american drivers can pick them up. host: we were down in laredo, texas. journal" was,n and we visited with folks down there, and so the trucking operation. you would have mexican drivers picking up a load in the united states, bring it over to mexico, dropping it off, taking the trip back and forth over the border several times. we learned that the long-haul drivers across the country to the border are american drivers.
what about his comments about the trucking industry and how it works? guest: i think that is something that is going to have to be addressed in these negotiations. issues likeot of this that are going to have to be talked about, and they are difficult issues. i think that one of the big questions is, how can they do that by the end of this year? they have less than half a year to discuss this. there are all these different products that flow between the countries. they have to address a lot of these issues. these are going to be part of the intense conversations they are going to be having. you have to get this before the presidential elections in mexico and midterms in the united states. host: joe is watching, a democrat. how are you doing? caller: world trade -- the united states is such a young player in world trade. the first world trade in concord -- the east india tea company --
this is even before the united states even existed. reason the united states existed is the industrial revolution. how can we be competitive in the digital revolution, where the world is connected? the things is one of they have to address of nafta, and one of the reasons it is -- according to a lot of economists and analysts, it is good they is updating this, because it before a lot of the technologies existed. it is over $1 trillion in trade every year. if we want to become a modern economy, if we want our trade to be modern, we need to be looking at some of these old trade agreements and modernizing them, according to a lot of economists and politicians. host: according to what the u.s. trade representative, robert lighthizer, was talking about -- he said rules of origin needed to be renegotiated. nafta, there is a
stipulation that a certain percentage of products have to be manufactured in north america in order to be terrorist free. a car, more than 60% of the input, meaning -- in order to be riff free. they are suggesting they should .ncrease the burden that would force manufacturing to return to north america. a lot of the asian producers would have to set up shop in north america. that makes it more important to produce -- more expensive to produce cars. in north america, the costs are higher. the second problem is, does that help the united states or mexico? what if they set up shop in mexico? the u.s. is trying to address this issue by perhaps
implementing a "made in the usa" provision that would force some of that to be in the united states. obviously, canada and mexico are going to push back against that. mark, question or comment? caller: i wanted to talk to randy. randy, you should know this -- check it out on the internet. in the 15 years preceding nafta, there were as many jobs lost as the 15 years after nafta. that is 1979 through 2009. losst manufacturing job due to nafta. that is what i wanted to call about. guest: that raises a good point, that figure i cited and that robert lighthizer mentioned, of america losing 700,000 jobs under nafta. it is controversial. a lot of economists say that is not true, citing what you are ,aying, that if nafta goes away
you are still going to lose jobs. the basic argument is that you cannot keep manufacturing in a world where production is cheaper in other parts of the world. that is an issue. i do agree it is very contentious. there is no definitive answer to that. host: another issue brought up by the u.s. trade or presented to was settling disputes. how have they settled under nafta today, and how would they effect change? guest: that is a very contentious part of nafta, something called chapter 19, where they have a dispute resolution body that could settle some of the differences. the united states does not like it. they think it should be done in u.s. courts, that it goes beyond what the united states wants. canada is for a much in favor of it. in fact, they almost walked away from nafta initially because of that issue.
chip ona big bargaining both sides. they might have to give in and get rid of chapter 19. on the flipside, the united states might have to give into canada if it wants more. caller: good morning. i want to ask him a question, and you too. why are you reporting these truck drivers being illegal immigrants in the back of the trailer? you did not report it once. number two, why are you -- anderson cooper calling every trump supporter a racist on national tv. our: we have switched conversation to nafta negotiations, which were kicked off in washington yesterday, the first round. we are with randy woods, the economics editor for bloomberg,
who is telling us there is more to come. they will go to mexico and canada, and the hope is to wrap up a nafta deal by the end of the year. guest: that is correct. host: dennis, pennsylvania, democrat. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. first off, i want to say i absolutely have no time for donald trump, but as far as nafta goes, the company i worked for -- i live here in pennsylvania -- the company i worked for, we were the second-largest employer in the county. only the susquehanna health system was larger than we were. 2006-2012, there were no pay increases. they were moving production to mexico. they have now moved all the production to mexico. and where they were paying $1.10 an hour, down in victoria,
mexico. like i said, we were the second-largest manufacturer, the second largest employer in the county, and all those jobs moved to mexico, and they did it for one reason. that was because of wages. have a nice day. thank you. host: have you heard that story many times about the impact of nafta? yes.: sure, he raises a couple good points. one is the politics of this. he said he was not a big fan of donald trump, but has issues with nafta. it is interesting to remember -- you mentioned sherrod brown, the democratic senator. he has for years been a big critic of free trade. he wrote a book about it. democrats have often been on the side of the people who are very anti-trade. republicans often have been on the side of free trade. that donaldsting trump has tapped into this unease with trade and made it a republican issue. it is important when you go to
congress to ratify a nafta agreement, because you might from the democrats. undoubtedly, nafta has caused some workers to shift production to mexico, where it is cheaper. that is something they arguably need to address those talks. it is a lot cheaper to run a factory there. host: >> c-span's washington journal live everyday with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, noel strom discusses the trump administration's review of more than two dozen national monument designations made by the obama administration. then utah state representative mike noel talks about federal land ownership and secretary
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