Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo

Stati Uniti e Canada. La guerra del lumber e del latte.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-05-09.

trade war

Il contenzioso commerciale tra Stati Uniti ed America sta surriscaldandosi.

«Oregon has been one of the loudest supporters of an up to 24% tax on Canadian softwood lumber»

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«Canada and the US have long had a trade dispute over softwood lumber, with the US arguing that Canada unfairly subsidises its industry by charging minimal fees to log publicly owned lands»

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«Trump has put the Canadian milk industry on notice this month that its protectionist measures will have to be scrapped»

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«Facing an excessive inventory of milk, Ontario, Canada’s largest province, last year lowered prices on some skim-milk ingredients, including ultra-filtered milk used in making cheese and yogurt. With lower prices of domestic ultra-filtered milk, Canadian processors began buying more from local suppliers, weakening demand for American imports»

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«Last week, the US Commerce Department announced it will charge five Canadian softwood exporters duties ranging between 3.2% to 24.12% to make it a “level playing field”

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Il Trattato Nafta sembrerebbe aver fatto il suo tempo.

Molto semplicemente, un trattato generale di libero scambio non riesce a rappresentare la realtà odierna. Il “libero scambio” non è un dogma di fede: è una condizione economica che in alcuni momenti può dare benefici a tutte le componenti, in altri essere di impaccio ovvero di danno a qualche sistema economico.

In una squisita ottica di Realpolitik in certo momento può essere di utilità ed in altri di danno.

Da un punto di vista esclusivamente pratico, risulterebbe più facilmente gestibili accordi diretti tra due nazioni.

Nel caso specifico, il Canada appalta terreno boschivo pubblico a prezzi minimali, rendendo così il proprio lumber fortemente concorrenziale rispetto quello statunitense, così come il drastico crollo del prezzo latte ultra filtrato ha ridotto in modo sostanziale la concorrenzialità di quello americano.

Occorre prendere atto di queste situazioni e cercare di raggiungere un accordo di comune gradimento: in caso contrario diverrebbe indispensabile la introduzione di dazi.


Bbc. 2017-05-06. Canada considers retaliation for US tariff on softwood lumber

Canada is considering multiple trade actions against the US in response to tariffs on softwood lumber.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday he was considering banning US coal exports in response to the “unfair” tax on Canadian lumber.

The government is also looking at duties against several Oregon industries, the BBC has learnt.

Oregon has been one of the loudest supporters of an up to 24% tax on Canadian softwood lumber.

Mr Trudeau wrote to British Columbia (BC) premier Christy Clark to say that he was “carefully and seriously” considering trade action on coal exports. He said trade officials will explore next steps.

Ms Clark had previously asked Ottawa to ban US thermal coal exports, and has said she will impose a tax on thermal coal entering BC ports regardless of the federal government’s decision, because “it is the right thing to do”.

BC is one of Canada’s largest producers of softwood lumber.

“We share the commitment to fighting climate change and protecting the environment,” Mr Trudeau wrote in his letter on Friday.

“We strongly disagree with the US Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty on Canadian softwood lumber.”

The government is also considering imposing duties or other trade action on several Oregon industries, the BBC has learnt.

This has nothing to do with US President Donald Trump, who has been a vocal opponent of Nafta and criticised Canada for protectionist dairy policies, the BBC is told.

Instead, the government is considering levying duties on several Oregon industries, including wine, wood chips, plywood, flooring and packaging material, that receive state support which the Canadian government believes may constitute illegal subsidies.

Democratic Oregon senator Ron Wyden is one of the biggest critics of the Canadian softwood lumber industry.

Canada and the US have long had a trade dispute over softwood lumber, with the US arguing that Canada unfairly subsidises its industry by charging minimal fees to log publicly owned lands.

Last week, the US Commerce Department announced it will charge five Canadian softwood exporters duties ranging between 3.2% to 24.12% to make it a “level playing field”.


Usa Today. 2017-05-06. Milk is sour issue in U.S.-Canada trade talks as Trump seeks Nafta renegotiation

Milk has moved to the forefront of President Trump’s escalating trade dispute with Canada.

With heightened lobbying from American milk farmers — many of them operating in key swing states — Trump has put the Canadian milk industry on notice this month that its protectionist measures will have to be scrapped. Canada counters that the U.S. is running a surplus in milk trade.

“Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!,” the president tweeted Tuesday. He also made similar comments in a speech in Wisconsin last week.

Emboldened by Trump’s attention, a group of lawmakers and the U.S. dairy industry stepped up their lobbying by sending letters to Trump and issuing comments throughout the week, culminating in the president’s announcement Thursday that he will look to renegotiate the North American Free Trade agreement, a 23-year old free trade deal among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The dispute stems from recent changes made in Canada’s “supply management system” of its dairy industry, a system that controls supply, sets prices for milk products and places tariffs on imports that go beyond quotas.

Facing an excessive inventory of milk, Ontario, Canada’s largest province, last year lowered prices on some skim-milk ingredients, including ultra-filtered milk used in making cheese and yogurt. With lower prices of domestic ultra-filtered milk, Canadian processors began buying more from local suppliers, weakening demand for American imports.

Earlier this year, Canada said the lowering of skim-milk product prices would be extended on a longer-term basis and carried out nationwide. American dairy farmers in the border states, mostly in Wisconsin and New York, were recently told that their milk business would no longer be needed.

“We are concerned that these programs may violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada,” wrote a group of U.S. representatives  in a letter to Trump Wednesday.

Graham Lloyd, director of communications for Dairy Farmers of Ontario, which administered the pricing change last year, said “there have been no changes to import and export rules.”

“American processors are still free to export. And Canadian processors are still free to import,” he said.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also pointed out that the U.S. has a $400 million dairy surplus with Canada and agricultural protectionist measures are common worldwide. “It’s not Canada that’s the challenge here,” he said. “Let’s not pretend we’re in a global free market when it comes to agriculture.”

Still, the milk fight, while more obscure than other trade disputes facing American exporters, is emblematic of Trump’s intent to use any and all leverage in his quest to remake the trade regime and possibly renegotiate some NAFTA terms.

“I decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big, you know, shock to the system, we will renegotiate,” Trump said Thursday while hosting the president of Argentina at the White House. “Now, if I’m unable to make a fair deal, if I’m unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA. But we’re going to give renegotiation a good, strong shot.”

Dave Salmonsen, chief trade lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, says NAFTA has been a generally effective trade agreement for the U.S. agriculture industry but the Canadian milk pricing policy remains an unresolved, sticky issue.

While much of the discussions about NAFTA’s long-term effects have focused on U.S.-Mexico trade, the milk dispute shows that “not everything on the U.S.-Canada side is rosy,” says Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president of trade policy at the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

“In order to maintain the supply system, Canada doesn’t want any trade,” he says “I called Canadians and said, ‘Don’t be greedy.’ ”

“I think (Trump) is going to start a conversation. For us, that’s a major move forward,” Castaneda said.

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