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!

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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.

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[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.

The Sprint to Revise NAFTA Has Millions of Jobs on the Line

8/21/2017 The Hill

By Earl Anthony Wayne, Global Fellow & Advisory Board Member, Mexico Institute

Modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is beginning with a “sprint.” The three governments have agreed to an accelerated set of negotiating rounds to see if they can forge an updated arrangement for trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States by early 2018. It will be a tough dash, with immensely important stakes.

The early “sprint” is because Mexico’s July 2018 presidential and congressional elections close the political window for approval of an agreement in Mexico by early 2018. Delay will prolong the uncertainty, including on what positions a new Mexican team might take. If the “sprint” does not work, the negotiations will shift to a jog, until after a new Mexican president enters office in December 2018.

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UPCOMING EVENT | Mexico and the NAFTA Negotiations

WHEN: Tuesday, August 15, 9:00-11:00 AM

WHERE: Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

Negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada are set to begin an intense effort to modernize the NAFTA agreement on August 16, 2017. Please join us on August 15th, the eve of the opening round, for a discussion of Mexico’s approach to the negotiations.

The United States Trade Representative recently announced the U.S. objectives for a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a step that was required by U.S. trade law. Many of the stated goals will be shared by Mexico and Canada, but others will be controversial.

Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, recently announced that Mexico will not make a similar official statement of objectives, but top officials have been clear that they will seek to expand, rather than restrict trade within North America. To better understand Mexico’s goals and strategy as the negotiations begin, we have invited three of Mexico’s top trade experts, including two former officials and the current head of Mexico’s NAFTA office in Washington, DC. We hope you can join us for what promises to be an interesting and important conversation.

Introduction
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Speakers
Kenneth Smith, Director of the Trade and NAFTA Office, Embassy of Mexico, Washington, DC

Francisco de Rosenzweig, Partner, White & Case LLP; Former Undersecretary for Foreign Trade, Ministry of the Economy, Mexico

Luz Maria de la Mora, Director, LMM Consulting; Former Unit Chief for Economic Relations and International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Click to RSVP

Canadian miners complain of hefty taxes, weak rule of law in Mexico

10/31/16 Reuters

Canadian miners are seeking a meeting with Mexico’s president to air grievances about issues ranging from the rule of law to aggressive tax collection, according to an unusually strident letter by an industry group published on Monday.

President Enrique Pena Nieto should intervene for Mexico to “recover its position in relation to other investment destinations in the hemisphere,” the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (CanCham) wrote on behalf of the miners, in a letter printed in Mexico’s Reforma newspaper.

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North America’s Anti-Brexit Moment

6/28/2016 Bloomberg View

This week’s meeting among the leaders of the U.S., Mexico and Canada might have been a mostly forgettable formality — had British voters not just decided to leave the European Union. Add in Donald Trump’s shrill threats to tear up trade agreements and build walls, and presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau face a need to reaffirm, and strengthen, their own growing ties.

Luckily, these leaders have a pretty good story to tell. Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are one another’s most important trading partners. The U.S. exports more than four times as much to Mexico and Canada as it does to China, and more than twice as much as to the EU. Well-developed supply chains mean that more than 40 percent of the value of U.S. imports from Mexico, and 25 percent of those from Canada, originates in the U.S., compared with 2 to 5 percent for the EU, China, India and South Korea. Since 1993, North American trade has more than tripled, and cross-border investment has quintupled.

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