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New NAFTA far from a done deal


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Insight Weekly: US inflation soars; real estate faces slowdown; megadeals drive tech M&A


Breaking into Europe’s Digital Infrastructure Markets: Drivers & Trends


Understanding Loss Given Default A Review of Three Approaches

New NAFTA far from a done deal

Last week, S&P Global Market Intelligence teamed up with CQ Roll Call, a news service specializing in Washington policymaking, to take a deep dive into the current state of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

When the proposal, now dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, was signed in November 2018, President Donald Trump hailed it as a great success for his administration and his country alike. However, ratifying the agreement in the U.S. is proving far from straightforward. Politicians from both parties have raised concerns, ranging from the enforceability of labor provisions to the continuation of steel and aluminum tariffs.

The consumer sector stands to be among the most affected by the deal. Automakers have detailed in recent weeks how global trade tensions have hit their bottom lines and caused them to rethink their production strategies, and the impasse over the USMCA is doing nothing to help this. Some agricultural producers could benefit from improved access to the Canadian and Mexican markets, and industry representatives are ramping up their visits to Washington to push for progress.

That there is no statutory deadline to introduce the legislation means this could still be an agenda item during the 2020 presidential elections, but observers feel a conclusion will have to be reached by the end of the summer if other trade negotiations are to be successful. For consumer-facing companies already dealing with great uncertainty, an end to this story cannot come soon enough.

Chart of the week: Demand for plant-based dairy alternatives continue to grow

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Quick passage of new NAFTA slowed by thorny issues

The Trump administration is wooing Democrats in a bid to pass the trade deal.

BMW warns outcomes of Brexit, US-EU trade negotiations could affect guidance

However, executives at the German carmaker said at a March 20 press conference that they expect positive outcomes from both events.

Tech-driven Carvana delivers 1st auto loan securitization

Touting machine learning-driven algorithms and a vertically integrated business model, e-commerce auto platform Carvana is preparing its inaugural $338.8 million auto ABS deal.

February sales weaken in major auto markets

Auto sales continued to shrivel in major auto markets as U.S., Europe, China and Japan reported year-over-year declines, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.


Off-price retailers forecast more growth after uptick in new stores in FY'18

While off-price retailers typically operate smaller stores compared to full-price retailers, analysts say there is an opportunity to remodel stores vacated by larger department stores to fit the needs of off-price retailers.

Alimentation Couche-Tard highlights liquidity, capacity for more deals

The convenience store operator is declining to commit to a timeline for future dividend payouts, pointing to its continued M&A ambition, President and CEO Brian Hannasch told analysts March 20.

Currency headwinds to affect Nike's Q4'19 revenue growth, executives say

The global footwear and apparel company still expects revenue growth in its fourth quarter and fiscal 2020, including strong performance in Asian markets, executives said March 21.

Food, Beverage & Tobacco

Big dairy companies take plant-based alternatives beyond soymilk

Danone and Dean Foods are selling sour cream, yogurt and other dairy products developed using different varieties of bacteria.

US farm exports at center stage as Trump prepares to meet Brazilian president

The meeting comes at a pressing time for U.S. wheat exporters. According to Panjiva, a division of S&P Global, U.S. wheat exports fell by 11.2% on an annual basis in 2018, to $5.44 billion, due primarily to Chinese retaliatory tariffs.

January US food service sales up; menu prices rise faster than inflation

Employment gains at food services and drinking places reached a one-year high in the first two months of the year as the market hammered stocks for most of the largest U.S.-based chains in the last month.

Consumer Edge is a weekly collection of critical developments across the automotive; retail; and food, beverage, and tobacco industries that draws on exclusive analysis and value-added content from the Consumer News team at S&P Global Market Intelligence.