NAFTA - Good As Gone? By Maxim Sindall
“Worst trade deal ever made.”
In a tweet to his followers last week, Donald Trump tells about his thoughts on the 1994 NAFTA agreement. NAFTA; standing for the North American Free Trade Agreement, is a Trilateral trade agreement between the USA, Mexico, and Canada. The agreement is currently in jeopardy as the US president threatened to leave NAFTA or renegotiate the accord. After this announcement, Canada and Mexico quickly agreed to renegotiate.
Talks began on the 22nd of August with both Mexico and Canada pushing hard for their agendas.
Mexico rallied to change their position in the world in the renegotiations. They are trying not only to stay competitive in the North American market but expand Mexico into the global economy. Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center told, “What the Mexican negotiating team for NAFTA took on board from the very beginning is that this is an opportunity really to modernize the NAFTA in ways that keep Mexico’s competitiveness as a priority, but more importantly, to bring Mexico into the modern global economy, in a way that the existing NAFTA agreement didn’t.”
Canada’s objectives from the agreement are to modernize it and update the agreement. This would include freeing movement of professionals, updating labour standards, environmental standards, gender rights, and Indigenous rights throught the 3 countries. However, Canada’s biggest priority is protecting their core industry such as dairy, poultry, automotive manufacturing, and softwood lumber.
The US president, Donald Trump has set out to create a better deal for the American people. He touched on a few points of interest such as Canada’s trade surplus with the US, Mexican low-cost manufacturing (US losing jobs from Mexico), and Canada’s price fixing on agriculture products like dairy and poultry.
So far in the ever-changing agreement, Mexico and the US have struck a deal in the renegotiation of NAFTA. The deal solidified policy on agriculture and manufacturing between the USA and Mexico. The new deal that has been created will last 16 years and will be reviewed every six years.
However, Canada’s deal with the US has brought a dead end to tough negotiations that have Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada saying that “No NAFTA is better than a bad deal, and we’ve made that very clear to the president.” So far the two countries are in a landlock about their manufacturing and agriculture policies. The US has threatened to leave Canada out of the ‘new’ NAFTA, but as one of the USA’s main trading partners, the renegotiation without Canada would not pass the US Congress.
In conclusion, Donald Trump has definetly created a statement to his base of helping the American people in the ever-emerging isolationism of the US. The renegotiations that have been brought forth, if done right, can bring NAFTA from the 20th century to the 21st while helping the intentions of Mexico, The United States, and Canada.