5 Ways Trump Could Improve NAFTA

1/23/2017 Forbes, Mexico Institute Blog

trump-inaugurationBy Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute

President Trump’s road to victory was built on a promise to fight on behalf of the American worker to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States. Rightly or wrongly, Donald Trump and many other Americans put much of the blame for the immense challenges being faced by the working class on NAFTA and other free trade agreements.

The newly updated White House website states, “President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA.” However, “if our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.” Media reports suggest an executive order for a NAFTA renegotiation may be imminent.

An outright withdrawal from NAFTA would be incredibly costly. A Wilson Center study recently found that nearly five million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico, and a good number of them would be put at risk were the agreement to be scrapped. At this point, U.S. and Mexican companies have invested many billions of dollars in each other’s economies to build up a globally competitive regional manufacturing platform upon which cars and other products are jointly manufactured with parts and materials from suppliers dispersed across the continent.

Renegotiation, on the other hand, could be beneficial if the political minefield along the way to its completion can be successfully navigated. Realistically, there are no changes to NAFTA that can stop the slow decline of manufacturing employment in the United States, which is caused much more by automation and technological advance than anything else. But, as an agreement negotiated a quarter-century ago, there is plenty of space for the Trump administration to propose an update to NAFTA that would favor U.S. workers and competitiveness.

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Trump to Announce Plans for Renegotiation of NAFTA: Five Ways to Improve the Agreement

1/23/2017 Mexico Institute Forbes Blog

trump-inaugurationPresident Trump’s road to victory was built on a promise to fight on behalf of the American worker to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States. Rightly or wrongly, Donald Trump and many other Americans put much of the blame for the immense challenges being faced by the working class on NAFTA and other free trade agreements.

The newly updated White House website states, “President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA.” However, “if our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.” Media reports suggest an executive order for a NAFTA renegotiation may be imminent.

An outright withdrawal from NAFTA would be incredibly costly. A Wilson Center study recently found that nearly five million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico, and a good number of them would be put at risk were the agreement to be scrapped. At this point, U.S. and Mexican companies have invested many billions of dollars in each other’s economies to build up a globally competitive regional manufacturing platform upon which cars and other products are jointly manufactured with parts and materials from suppliers dispersed across the continent.

Read more…

NEW PUBLICATION | Towards a North American Foreign Policy Footprint

By Earl Anthony Wayne and Arturo Sarukhan

north-american-lights-lightenedEvery electoral cycle in the United States or Mexico brings the opportunity to reevaluate the relationship and explore how both nations can improve upon the bilateral agenda given changes in the regional and global context. In the coming months, it is quite likely that crucial issues in the relationship may be revisited in profound ways. This presents both real risks and real opportunities. Even as the political climate changes, the on-the-ground benefits of regional collaboration for the security and economic well-being of the United States, Mexico, and all of North America continue to be immense.

Towards a North American Foreign Policy Footprint,” was written by Earl Anthony Wayne, Career Ambassador and former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, and Arturo Sarukhan, Career Ambassador and former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. In the policy brief, the authors review existing cooperation and explore the potential for enhanced cooperation on international issues by Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

This policy brief is the first of our series “Charting a New Course: Policy Options for the Next Stage in U.S.-Mexico Relations.”  The policy briefs will be released individually and published as a volume in the spring of 2017.

Read the publication here.

Mexico braces for Trump administration’s assault on Nafta

12/22/2016 Financial Times 

nafta (2)Despite a good few weeks for Mexico — a successful oil auction; a $1.3bn investment by retailer Walmart; and a bond issue from state oil company Pemex that was six times oversubscribed — a dark, Donald Trump-shaped cloud is looming.

The US president-elect has vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, that has turned its neighbour into a car, computer, TV and aerospace manufacturing powerhouse. The threat is a crackdown on reshoring to cheap destinations such as Mexico by slapping a 35 per cent tariff on goods imported back into the US by companies that shift jobs or plants abroad.

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Why Leaving NAFTA Would Hurt Tennessee

12/15/2016 The Tennessean

By Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member Lawrence Harrington

flags 3 countriesOpposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico was a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Canceling NAFTA and imposing tariffs on Mexican imports is one of the few actions President Trump can take without congressional approval.  Under the agreement he only needs to give Mexico six months’ notice to cancel the agreement. Using emergency powers, the president could then in all likelihood impose tariffs on Mexican imports. Trump mentioned a 35 percent tariff on certain Mexican goods during the campaign.

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Mexico and U.S. executives to share data to make case for free trade

Mexican and U.S. business leaders will share information on cross-border economic integration as they seek to build a case for free trade under the government of President-elect Donald Trump, a top industry group said on Wednesday.

During a two-day meeting in Mexico City, the executives agreed to share data on trade, including the geographic areas where exports and imports have generated jobs, said Juan Pablo Castañon, president of Mexican group Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE).

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Giuliani made millions consulting for Mexico’s most anti-Trump politician

11/29/16 The Washington Post

186px-rudy_giulianiFormer New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was paid millions under a contract arranged by a Mexican politician who is likely to run for president of Mexico in 2018 on an anti-Trump, Mexico-first platform. That could be a conflict of interest if Giuliani is named secretary of state and tasked with renegotiating NAFTA and trying to get Mexico to pay for a border wall.

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