Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,404 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The purpose of this thread is to discuss the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which will replace NAFTA.

In keeping with forum policies, POLITICAL DISCUSSION IS NOT ALLOWED, so please refrain from mentioning particular political parties or political leaders. Hopefully, this will keep the discussion on track.

You can read the full text of the agreement.

We would like to focus on the technology and media provisions, but other aspects are allowed. Here is a useful summary:
From Copyright Term to Super Bowl Commercials: Breaking Down the Digital NAFTA Deal - Michael Geist
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,093 Posts
Canada has lost too much by signing this deal, especially Canadian farmers. What makes it even worse is that tarriifs steal remain in effect on Canadian steel and aluminum. This deal does not protect Canada from Amaricans imposing new tariffs as well as far as I understand it.
It is a bad deal in my opinion but no deal could have been worse especially with current president in power.
No deal could have been devastating to Canadian economy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
What I will find interesting is the provision for duty-free goods exemption limits going up for items coming in from the U.S. or Mexico for consumers.

I've read some numbers on various websites (nobody has agreement on the number or $ figure) but it will be interesting.

I easily spend $1000 a year in duties from shopping in the U.S., so I'm looking forward to this exemption limit being raised, and what websites will open up shipping to Canada.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,478 Posts
Sales Tax (HST/PST/GST) free goes up to $40 from $20.

Duty Free goes up to $150.

So a $100 Canadian shipment will still have $5 in GST assessed. If you live in Nova Scotia it will still get charged $15 in HST.
--

The new deal, called United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), raises Canada’s duty-free level from C$20 to C$150. It also raises the sales tax from C$20 to C$40. The new duty-free threshold means Canadian consumers ordering U.S. goods do not have to pay a duty on products that are $150 or less.

The rise in the duty-free limit is also only for goods you buy online — not for trips across that border. Currently, if you stay in the U.S. for 24 hours you qualify for an exemption of $200. That exemption climbs to $800 if you stay 48 hours or more.
https://globalnews.ca/news/4503461/canada-duty-free-limit-usmca/

Also these new policies will not go into affect until next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,598 Posts
There are very few products that have duty so that is mostly a non-issue. Sales tax is another. The issue I have is with brokerage fees. They can be higher than the sales tax and are basically a charge for collecting sales tax on imported items. It's illegal to charge for collecting sales tax for items sold in Canada but couriers get away with charging exorbitant fees for imported items. They claim it's to cover costs for customs clearance but I believe these charges and shipping fees in general are inflated for consumers. That's a barrier to free trade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,831 Posts
Not defending the high so called brokerage fees but... in their defense...

They are in business to make money like anyone else...

Do you expect such brokerage firms to do that work for free?
They do have employees that expect a living wage and benefits, no??
Alternative is just don't import anything, buy local and let someone else pay them fees for you where applicable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,598 Posts
The point is that NAFTA and USMCA are supposed to provide an open market. Couriers are setting up an artificial trade barrier for their own profit. I don't believe that a $20 brokerage fee on a $21 or $41 item is justified or even required to cover costs. Is gouging, plain and simple. For unsuspecting recipients, it's more like extortion. It's just an example of how trade agreements are written to benefit big business and ignore the needs of small businesses or individuals.

Shipping plus brokerage is often less than $20 for internationally shipped items from the US using the international eBay shipping service. I once got slapped with a US$50 brokerage charge for returning an item under warranty through a courier. I had already paid $70 for shipping but that wan't enough for them. I've also been charged $20 or $40 for just receiving a package on which shipping was already paid. I was even charged $10 for collecting sales tax on an express package that was already pre-cleared. That's gouging. They wouldn't get away with it with a big business customer who typically pay about half what individuals pay up front for shipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
I've been following the Canada Post negotiations, and read an article on several websites that Canada Post will still be collecting duty on items $20 or more - that the duty is only off of private couriers.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/10/01/online-shopping-savings-under-usmca-wont-apply-to-canada-post-ottawa-says.html

Ugh! I avoid getting items shipped by UPS / FedEx / DHL because they ding me big time for the brokerage fees...but now there might be a savings in the future vs. Canada Post depending on the value of the item?

Guess we have to see how it all pans out...one way that may be around it is services like Pitney-Bowes offers on eBay through the Global Shipping Program - where they import the items from a warehouse in Erlanger, Kentucky; then re-ship using Canada Post from Mississauga. In this case they may be able to get rid of customs/duty as they are a "private courier" across the border.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,598 Posts
Private couriers that reship from Canada have been around for over 20 years. The problem is finding sellers that will use one. Most businesses use one or two shipping methods and won't deviate, even for international customers. If Bell can get the special exemption for the Superbowl written into the USMCA, consumers should be able to get the elimination of brokerage fees written in as well. But then that would benefit consumers, not big business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,598 Posts
I think opening the dairy market is too little, too late. I have been frustrated for years with the inability to find some European products in stores. The reason is that quotas prevent some popular products, such as specialty cheeses, from being imported in large enough quantities to meet demand. That makes it difficult for independent stores to compete.

Quotas have also forced a lot of small producers out of business. The production of eggs and cheese has become systematically concentrated in the hands of large corporations. At one time, consumers could buy items such as free range eggs from local markets. That's impossible now because marketing boards forced small, independent producers out of business. The same thing has happened with small cheese producers that made high quality specialty cheeses. The market is now dominated by corporate food interests that make bland, low quality products, often under inhumane conditions.

As it is, I suspect that opportunities provided by the small opening of the Canadian market will be dominated by large corporations that use it to import cheap, low quality products from the US. This provision is politically motivated to appease large US cheese producers.There is a glut of cheese on the US market and it is being dumped at distress sale prices domestically and abroad. That won't be good for Canadian producers and it's won't benefit Canadian consumers in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,082 Posts
The online thing and duty. Quite a lot of things still have duty. Clothes and shoes for sure.

NAFTA/USMCA are not and have never been free trade...they are managed trade. Managed for the benefit of governments and companies with political pull.

Dairy. I read recently that the CETA quotas have not been filled. I wonder but have no idea if the paperwork is just too difficult for the sort of artisanal Fromagerie that one would want to buy cheese from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
I buy milk in the U.S. still all the time - US$1.89 to US$2.19 at Aldi per gallon. Last time I checked at a Sobeys that is a km from the border with Buffalo, it was $6.99 for 4 litres.

Butter I regularly get a 454g/1lb cube (wrapped in 4 convenient sticks) for US$1.99. Try to get a lb here for under $5 when not on sale.

It's a hidden "tax" we all pay to our dairy farmers. For someone who eats/drinks a lot of dairy, and having a family that does as well, I rather save $10 to $15 a week then give it to an outdated inefficient industry.

I saw a UK show (Food Unwrapped on TVO?) where in the UK dairy prices plummeted after joining the EU, as UK farmers were under the same supply management system. Now that Brexit is happening, they are going to jump even higher than before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Granted prices close to the border are in most circumstances cheaper and create an unreal comparison. Check prices in Florida, California, Wyoming. Having spent lots of time in the US the prices are general more than what people in Ontario pay. For example at Walmart 2% gallon of milk $2.88 US or $3.69 Canadian. (good deal) . Butter has a wide range 1lb US $5.64 or $7.23 Canadian....some stores $3.24 US or $4.16 Canadian. Plus the cost of getting there. Check out Publix in Florida for a real eye opener. Not wanting a debate but so often comparisons are made that only apply to certain circumstances. Good luck if you live close to the border...as most of us do not. As a personal opinion it will be a cold day in hell before we ever shop across the border.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,404 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Canada and Mexico have notified the NAFTA partners they are ready to set a date for the revised deal to take effect. All three countries have ratified the deal.

The text of the agreement says it will take effect on the first day of the third month after all three partners have notified the others they've changed their relevant laws, regulations and other administrative systems and are ready to comply.

If the U.S. gives its notice before the end of April, the earliest the new measures could take hold is July 1.

The deal is taking a back seat to the response to COVID-19.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/saturday-nafta-notification-1.5522007
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
@Inglewood
$6.99 for 4 litres.
, is that Organic Milk because my Sobey's sells Milk for $4.39 for 4 liters, a little more than a US gallon, 200ml.

I'm not saying US prices aren't better on dairy, I lived in St. Catharines and went shopping at Tops every week and loaded up on cheap cheese, milk and beer, but the savings were not life changing. Aldi's Organic Milk price is in line with Sobey's Organic Milk price and there isn't a huge difference in regular milk either when you factor in the exchange rate, about $1 Canadian.

I get why America wants access to the Canadian dairy market, at some point in the not too distant future the US government is not going to buy their surplus.

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/09/683339929/nobody-is-moving-our-cheese-american-surplus-reaches-record-high
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,598 Posts
The US has a huge cheese surplus and they want to get rid of it. They want to do that by dumping it in Canada and destroying our cheese and dairy industry. A large part of the US surplus was caused by government subsidies that are illegal under international trade law. Typical US BS.

US food production practices have much lower standards than most other western countries. They also have government subsidies on a wide range of products. It explains their cheaper prices on some products. That's why the EU won't allow many US food imports. The US also allows additives that are banned in the EU. US food may be cheaper but it also has higher levels of toxic chemicals and bacteria. It has become worse in the past 3 years.

I don't trust the US to honour any trade agreement with Canada. They haven't in the past and they only honour agreements that benefit them. Just look at the tariffs on steel and other products that were imposed in the past three years. It's not the first time things like that have happened. Any time one of their industries can't compete they slap embargoes and tariffs on Canadian products. They also do things like refusing to pay the world price for oil because Canada is overly dependent on the US for oil exports.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,082 Posts
I am of the opinion, probably not shared by many, that Canada would be a much happier EU member and distance ourselves from the USA.
Our form of government, our social programs are close enough for us to fit in nicely. But not possible because of the Treaty of Rome and having a long border with the USA. IIRC didn’t Trudeau senior try to join?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top