Donald Trump’s deal with Mexico to revamp Nafta has opened a new rift with Congress over trade after senior lawmakers reacted sceptically to parts of the agreement and urged the US administration to drop its threat to leave Canada out of the pact.
The scuffles between the White House and Capitol Hill came as Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, flew to Washington from Europe for high-stakes talks to see whether a trilateral deal could be rescued in the coming days. The US has warned it is prepared to end the three-country structure of Nafta if Ottawa did not sign on quickly.
On Wall Street overnight, the S&P 500 eked out a fractional gain to close at a fresh record high as sentiment received a boost from a revived US-Mexico trade deal agreed on Monday.
In Asia-Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index to shed 0.1 per cent at the open, while Tokyo’s Topix is set to gain 0.1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is set to drop 0.2 per cent.
Corporate earnings reports out today include Citic, BYD Electronic, Bank of East Asia, Samsonite, China Mengniu Dairy and Virgin Australia.
The economic calendar for Wednesday is working the odds (all times Hong Kong):
- 13.00: Japan consumer confidence index
- Vietnam’s imports, exports, trade balance, consumer price index, industrial production and retail sales data are also slated for release today.