Ditching NAFTA Not in America’s Best Interests

10/28/2017 Houston Chronicle

By Earl Anthony Wayne

Texas has the most to lose of any U.S. state if NAFTA talks go wrong. It has a great deal to gain if the talks to modernize NAFTA go well. Now that the negotiations have slowed over controversial U.S. proposals, Texans and their elected federal and state representatives should be making very clear to the Trump administration team overseeing the NAFTA negotiations that they should do no harm to the massive Texas-Mexico trade relationship, and rather focus on creating new opportunities.

The controversial U.S. proposals and hardball tactics, however, could freeze the talks or send them off the tracks. A decision to pull out of NAFTA, as President Trump has threatened, could cost 250,000 to 1.2 million U.S. jobs, according to one 2017 study. A failed NAFTA negotiation would endanger many thousands of Texas jobs, the state’s largest foreign client and cooperation along the border.

Texas trades $178 billion a year with Mexico. That is more than the entire United States trades with any single country in Europe. It translates into over $20 million of trade each hour: Things are bigger in Texas!

Read more…

Advertisements

As NAFTA Talks Restart, Canada and Mexico are Unfazed by Trump’s Threats

8/31/2017 Foreign Policy

The second round of talks for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement is set to start Friday in Mexico. Since the conclusion of the first round, U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the trade agreement. How, then, are U.S. neighbors dealing with the impending round two?

Just fine.

For one thing, while public opinion in the United States toward NAFTA is split, Canadians and Mexicans are in general agreement that the deal is good for their countries.

Read more…

[VIDEO] Renegotiating NAFTA Round Two

After what has been described as a tough round one in Washington, the process of renegotiating NAFTA is set to move to Mexico for round two. Beyond the negotiating table, President Trump continues to suggest that he may choose to withdraw from the agreement all together. Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood summarizes the state of the negotiations and provides analysis on what we can expect next. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Guest

Duncan Wood, Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, is a “North American citizen,” lecturing and publishing widely in the United States, Mexico and Canada on intracontinental issues and relations, with a primary focus on U.S.-Mexican ties. A widely-quoted authority on energy policy, international banking regulation and corruption, he works closely with the World Economic Forum and leverages decades of experience at Mexico’s leading universities and newspapers.

Host
John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.

Protecting Mexico’s Energy Reforms

8/14/2017 RealClear World

By Duncan Wood

When President Salinas Gortari signed the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement for Mexico in 1992, he provided certainty and stability for investors hoping to benefit from Mexico’s emerging manufacturing base. The trade deal locked in the benefits of domestic economic reforms and liberalization introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The steady flow of foreign investment that followed turned Mexico into a manufacturing powerhouse.

When negotiators from Mexico, Canada, and the United States start talks on Wednesday to renegotiate aspects of the 23-year-old agreement, they too hope to lock in recently won gains in Mexico that are of enormous interest to all parties. One priority must be to defend hard-won reforms in Mexico’s energy sector — reforms meant to change a sector that was closed and monopolistic for 75 years. Since U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, a broad-based movement has emerged that aims to defend two decades of free trade in the region and to insist on the urgency of “doing no harm” during renegotiation. NAFTA’s defenders have managed to influence a change in language: Where commentators once spoke of renegotiating a pact Trump characterized as the worst trade deal signed by the United States, the negotiations are now widely framed as an opportunity to modernize a venerable trade deal so that it more accurately reflects the needs and priorities of the 21st century economy.

Read more…

Canada PM Trudeau eyeing Mexico trip in October amid NAFTA talks

08/15/2017 Reuters

trudeauOTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering a trip to Mexico in October to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, his office said on Tuesday.

The visit would be Trudeau’s first trip to Mexico since taking office in 2015 and come in the midst of trilateral talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement. Pena Nieto visited Trudeau in Ottawa in June 2016.

Negotiations to modernize NAFTA kick of in Washington on Wednesday. U.S. President Donald Trump has targeted both Mexico and Canada for taking unfair advantages in the trading relationship. Ottawa has suggested it could walk away from talks if the United States pushed to remove a key dispute-settlement mechanism in the trade deal.

Read more…

RPT-Tech companies ramp up NAFTA lobbying on eve of trade talks

08/16/2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoWASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Technology companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems have ramped up lobbying ahead of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, looking to avoid any future restrictions on cloud storage and to promote an international pact to eliminate technology goods tariffs.

U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators are due to start talks on the 23-year old trade pact on Wednesday. Farming and transportation groups have traditionally dominated lobbying on NAFTA, but technology lobbyists are helping lead the recent surge in efforts to influence Washington, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Tech companies and trade organizations disclosed they had 48 arrangements with lobby groups that discussed NAFTA with administration officials or lawmakers in the second quarter, up from 17 groups in the first quarter and one group at the end of 2016, according to the data.

Read more…

NAFTA negotiators aim for ‘ambitious’ first round of talks: U.S. official

08/15/2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States are aiming for an ambitious first round of trade talks, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday, as the countries try to fast-track a deal to modernize the pact by early next year.

The United States Trade Representative official, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said all sides would all submit a substantial number of proposals during the first week of the talks aimed at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington. The talks start on Wednesday.

“We are actually going to be quite ambitious in this first round,” the USTR official said, without elaborating on specifics.

Read more…