Josh Teitelbaum Quoted in Footwear News on Impact of Shifting U.S. Trade Policies

Footwear News has quoted Akin Gump public law and policy counsel Josh Teitelbaum in the article “Sourcing Pros Say Trump’s Shifting Trade Policies Sparking Wild Ride So Far.”

Since taking office, the article reports, President Trump has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and then hinted at rejoining it, threatened to pull out of NAFTA, for which talks are continuing, and halted talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that the United States had been negotiating with the European Union.

“It’s been one hell of a year in trade policy,” Teitelbaum said.

With regard to NAFTA, Teitelbaum said Washington’s initial U.S. proposal in the textiles chapter was to eliminate all 24 tariff preference levels, but that move wasn’t met well as it would hurt both Mexico’s and Canada’s competitiveness. It would also likely see U.S. consumers spending more for goods with higher-priced inputs.

“As these negotiations have progressed,” Teitelbaum added, “the U.S., as I understand, has signaled that there’s some flexibility in this area.” At stake if NAFTA fails, according to Teitelbaum, is $682 million worth of apparel imports from Canada and $3.13 billion from Mexico.

Two more rounds of NAFTA talks are expected before April, but Teitelbaum is not very optimistic. “My forecast, unfortunately, is more uncertainty and volatility in U.S. trade policy,” he said.