WASHINGTON: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross signaled on Friday that Washington may flex its muscle with additional trading partners in order to exert pressure on China to open its markets, saying that a “poison pill” provision in the recently completed pact with Canada and Mexico could be replicated.Ross said in an interview that the provision was “another move to try to close loopholes” in trade deals that have served to “legitimize” China’s trade, intellectual property and industrial subsidy practices.The United States is now in the early stages of talks with Japan and the European Union to lower tariff and regulatory barriers and try to reduce large U.S. trade deficits in autos and other goods.If the EU and Japan signed on to provisions similar to the one in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), it would signal that they are fully aligned with Washington in trying to increase pressure on China, the world’s No. 2 economy, for major economic policy changes.The provision in USMCA, which is expected to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, effectively gives Washington a veto over Canada and Mexico’s other free trade partners to ensure that they are governed by market principles and lack the state dominance… Read full this story
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