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Key Economic Indicators 
Item  Rate 
CPI: 0.3% (Oct 2018) 
GDP Growth:   3.5% (3rd QTR 2018)
Bank Prime Interest Rate:   5.25%
Consumer Confidence:  137.9% (Oct 2018) 
Small Biz Confidence:  107.4% (Oct 2018) 
Avg Gas Price:  $2.46 









Sep 2018


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The U.S. and Mexico Reached A Free Trade Agreement

On 27 August 2018 the U.S. and Mexico reached a Free Trade Agreement as part of the NAFTA renegotiations.


North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] is a trilateral deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico that results in $1.2 trillion in Trade.  It is 24 years old and began in 1994.

The agreement reached by the U.S. and Mexico will have the following elements:

-Requires 75 percent of the value of a vehicle to be produced in the United States or Mexico, up from the NAFTA threshold of 62.5 percent.

-Requires greater use of U.S. and Mexican steel, aluminum, glass and plastics.

-Established a requirement of 40 to 45 percent of a vehicle’s value to be made in high wage areas paying at least $16 an hour, requiring significant automotive production in the United States.

-Mexico agreed to eliminate a settlement system for anti-dumping disputes, NAFTA’s Chapter 19.

-The new deal will keep tariffs on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico at zero. 

- It contains enforceable labor provisions that require Mexico to adhere to International Labor Organization labor rights standards in an effort to drive Mexican wages higher.

-The United States and Mexico agreed to a 16-year lifespan for NAFTA, with a review every six years that can extend the pact for 16 years more, providing more business certainty.


Negotiations with Canada is currently ongoing.  If no agreement is reached with Canada the agreement with Mexico will be sent to for congressional approval.



By Wendy Stewart













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