On NAFTA and Mexico, Trump Faces a Balancing Act

2/22/2017 U.S. News & World Report

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via AP – Dario Lopez-Mills

President George W. Bush’s former commerce secretary acknowledged Wednesday that the North American Free Trade Agreement “should be updated,” but said that abandoning the deal entirely and antagonizing Mexico may amount to a temporary “tactical victory” that down the road would be remembered as a “strategic defeat.”

Carlos Gutierrez, who opened a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington, avoided criticizing President Donald Trump’s administration directly. But the onetime CEO of the Kellogg Co. warned that hard-line approaches to NAFTA and to America’s broader relationship with Mexico have elicited “anxiety” and anti-U.S. sentiment from America’s southern neighbor.

“I think what we need to understand – and I trust that our government here in the U.S. will understand this – we cannot humiliate a country to the bargaining table,” Gutierrez said. “Maybe in business you can, because it’s all about the bottom line. But you can’t quantify national pride. You can’t quantify national dignity, and that’s what’s at stake here. It’s going to be extremely difficult for Mexico to do anything but take a combative response.”

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Mexico and Canada Say Nafta Should Be Re-Negotiated Trilaterally

2/21/2017 Bloomberg

NAFTAThe foreign ministers of Mexico and Canada presented a unified front ahead of potential trade talks with Donald Trump’s administration, stressing the North American Free Trade Agreement has benefited all three countries.

Mexico’s Luis Videgaray and Canada’s Chrystia Freeland said Nafta should be re-negotiated with all three nations seated at the table, rather than in bilateral discussions.

“We very much recognize that Nafta is a three-country agreement,” Freeland said Tuesday at a panel discussion with Videgaray in Toronto ahead of private trade talks. “We really value our relationship with Mexico.”

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[Video] Charting a New Course Part 1: U.S.-Mexico Economic Interdependence

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute has released a series of new essays covering a range of important bilateral issues. We kick off our companion video series, “Charting a New Course,” with a focus on economic interdependence. Mexico Institute Deputy Director, Chris Wilson provides an overview of the scope and depth of U.S.-Mexico economic cooperation and also talks about what can be done to make the alliance stronger. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Watch the video…

North American Climate Cooperation at a Crossroads

2/17/2017 Center for American Progress

North AmericaOver the past year, there has been significant progress in the North American effort to address climate change. One case in point is the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, which the national governments of the United States, Mexico, and Canada created in June 2016. Outside of the European Union, it is the most ambitious attempt yet to integrate environment, energy, and climate priorities and policies at a regional level.

Since the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, however, the North American relationship on climate change—as well as the North American relationship on a range of other issues—has been uncertain at best. This uncertainty came to the fore during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit with President Donald Trump on Monday, when climate change was mentioned in neither the leaders’ joint statement nor the joint press conference. Although it is possible that the leaders discussed it behind closed doors, there is so far no indication of this.

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Trump rebukes Mexico again after meeting with Canada’s Trudeau

2/13/2017 CNBC

trumptrudeauPresident Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed the North American Free Trade Agreement, but he signaled Monday that one of the United States partners in the deal could face more drastic changes than the other.

After Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, the leaders touted the neighbors’ trade relationship, with Trudeau signaling they wanted to continue “effective integration of our two economies.” Trump has repeatedly slammed NAFTA as a drag on American jobs, but said he thinks the U.S. gets a worse deal from its southern neighbor, Mexico, than from Canada.

“We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We’ll be tweaking it. We’ll be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries. It’s a much less severe situation than what’s taken place on the southern border,” Trump said at a joint White House press conference with Trudeau.

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[Video] U.S.-Mexico Relations Under a Trump Administration

2/12/2017 C-SPAN

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Watch Director Duncan Wood discuss U.S.-Mexico relations under the Trump administration on Washington Journal C-SPAN.

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U.S.-Mexican energy trade a bright spot

2/10/2017 United Press International

energy - oil barrelsU.S. crude oil exported to Mexico is one of the more lucrative commodities for North American energy trade, the U.S. Energy Department reported.

A daily briefing from the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reported that total energy exports to Mexico last year was one of the more valued exports in North America.

While the situation could change in the future because of amendments to rules governing U.S. crude oil exports, the EIA said Mexico is currently second only to Canada when it comes to total trade in energy products.

“For 2016, the value of U.S. energy exports to Mexico was $20.2 billion, while the value of U.S. energy imports from that country was $8.7 billion,” the government brief read.

Last year, energy products represented around 9 percent of all U.S. exports to Mexico and 3 percent of all U.S. imports from Mexico. The United States last year sent on average a half million barrels of crude oil per day to Mexico. Meanwhile, Mexico is the fourth-largest exporter or crude oil to the United States, behind Venezuela.

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