Mexico wants steel dispute ended before new NAFTA signed

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo wants ‘to clearly get rid of all these ... tariff-related aggressions’ before signing off on a reworked trade agreement with the US. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018

Mexico wants steel dispute ended before new NAFTA signed

  • Mexico and the US last week said they had reached a deal after more than a year’s negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Mexico aims to sign off its trade deal with Washington by the end of November

MEXICO CITY: Mexico wants to end to a tariff dispute over steel and aluminum with the United States prior to signing off on a reworked trade agreement with its northern neighbor, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday.
“Now, what are we going to do here? A deal before we get to signing, to clearly get rid of all these ... tariff-related aggressions,” Guajardo said on Mexican television after referring to the steel and aluminum dispute.
Mexico and the US last week said they had reached a deal after more than a year’s negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Canada, the other NAFTA signatory, is still locked in discussions with Washington to see if it can join the accord.
Mexico and Canada launched a series of tit-for-tat measures against the US when the Trump administration at the end of May decided to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from a range of countries, including its NAFTA partners.
Mexico aims to sign off its trade deal with Washington by the end of November, and hopes Canada will remain part of it.


Australian watchdog considers its own Google antitrust case

Updated 21 October 2020

Australian watchdog considers its own Google antitrust case

  • Competition and Consumer Commission launched Australian court action against Google in July

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia’s competition watchdog will consider its own antitrust case against Google, the commission chairman said Wednesday after the US Justice Department sued the company for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising.
Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims described the US case filed Tuesday as one of the world’s biggest antitrust cases in the past 20 years.
“I’m delighted the D.o.J.’s taking it on and we’ll follow it really closely,” Sims told the National Press Club, referring to the US Department of Justice.
“We’re going to look at it and see whether there’s any value in what we might do,” Sims added.
Separately, Sims is drafting legislation to address the imbalance in bargaining power between Google and the Australian media businesses that want the tech giant to pay for journalism.
The bills, that will be ready to be introduced to Parliament by December, would empower an arbitrator to make binding decisions on how much Google and Facebook must pay media companies for news content.
Sims said his commission “had a lot of talk” with the US Justice Department before he released a report in July last year that recommended more government regulation on the market power of Google and Facebook that would ensure fair deals for other media businesses and more control for individuals on how their data was used.
Sim’s commission launched Australian court action against Google in July alleging the California-based company misled account holders about its use of their personal data.
The commission alleges the Google misled millions of Australians to obtain their consent and expand the scope of personal information that Google collects about users’ Internet activity to target advertising. Google denies the allegations.
In October last year, the commission sued Google in an Australian court alleging the company broke consumer law by misleading Android users about how their location data was collected and used. That case will be heard by the Federal Court next month. Google also denies that allegation.
Sims said Google was lobbying “every politician at Parliament House” ahead of draft legislation being introduced to make it pay for news.
Google has said the proposed laws would result in “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube,” put free services at risk and could lead to users’ data “being handed over to big news businesses.”
Facebook has warned it might block Australian news content rather than pay for it.