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.

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Wynne heads to Mexico to promote trade and cap-and-trade

08/28/2016 The Star

canadaWith all the Trump-fuelled talk of trade protectionism in the U.S. presidential election, Premier Kathleen Wynne is headed to Mexico to remind officials there that Ontario is wide open for business.

Wynne flies to Mexico City on Monday for meetings with Mexican political leaders, manufacturers, exporters, and potential investors.

“Mexico is our fourth-largest trading partner — $27 billion goes back and forth (annually) so it’s really important that we have that relationship,” the premier told the Star.

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North America Must Compete Globally

6/28/2016 Forbes

By Earl Anthony Wayne and Gary Hufbauer

NAFTAContrary to campaign rhetoric, the integration of North America over the past quarter century has successfully grown the continental economy and enabled it to compete in global markets. And, in North America this has been done without the centralized institutions that UK voters just rejected. The June 29 North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa offers an opportunity to launch even smarter collaboration across Canada, Mexico, and the United States that respects the sovereignty of each partner. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Enrique Peña Nieto can approve a range of actions to make the North American economy more competitive and productive in the years ahead.

North American trade networks and continental investment ties have generated millions of jobs. North America is the best performing continent among advanced countries. But it still needs to create more and better jobs. Economic growth is too slow and productivity is far below par. An ambitious work agenda coming from the Leaders’ Summit can help boost the three economies.

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Upcoming Event | Ideas for a Stronger North America ahead of the North American Leaders Summit

North AmericaWHEN: Tuesday, June 28, 9:00-11:00 AM

WHERE: 6th Floor Board Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

On June 29, President Obama, President Peña Nieto, and Prime Minister Trudeau will meet in Ottawa for the 2016 North American Leaders Summit (NALS). North America is already the largest trading bloc in the world, with a GDP of over 20 trillion dollars and more than a trillion dollars of annual trade. The Leaders Summit will set the stage for future North American cooperation across a wide range of areas, including economic competitiveness, regional security, energy and climate change. It also represents an important opportunity for the leaders to clearly articulate the benefits of enhanced regional cooperation to a public that is increasingly focused on understanding the benefits and costs of global engagement.

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to a discussion on North American cooperation ahead of the North American Leaders Summit.

Click to RSVP

Op-Ed | Getting North America Right

5/9/2016 Mexico Institute blog, Forbes.com

By Earl Anthony Wayne, Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center

nafta (2)When the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States meet on June 29 for a North American Leaders Summit (NALS), they will have two big tasks: 1) to explain clearly why cooperation between the three countries is of great value; and 2) to give clear directions to their officials to do the hard technical work so that cooperation produces solid results for economic growth and competitiveness, for mutual security, for the shared continental environment, and for international cooperation where we can do more together than individually.

Since Mexico hosted the last so-called “Three Amigos” Summit in 2014, the tone in the U.S. domestic political debate has turned very critical of cooperation across the continent, whereas the actual collaboration and mutual understanding between the governments has improved.  The potential to help make all three countries more competitive in the world and to become a model for regional cooperation has increased, even as the electoral campaign attacks on the relationship with the United States’ two top export markets sharpened starkly.

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NAFTA May Have Saved Many Autoworkers’ Jobs

3/29/2016 The New York Times

When Donald Trump threatened to “break” the North American Free Trade Agreement, auto industry workers offered up some of the loudest cheers.

Mr. Trump easily won the Republican primary in Michigan this month. The state, home base for the American auto industry, also delivered an upset victory to Bernie Sanders, the Democratic anti-Nafta standard-bearer.

But the autoworkers’ animosity is aiming at the wrong target. There are still more than 800,000 jobs in the American auto sector. And there is a good case to be made that without Nafta, there might not be much left of Detroit at all.

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Canada, Mexico win $1-billion sanctions against U.S. at WTO

12/7/2015 The Globe and Mail 

NAFTACanada and Mexico may impose tariffs onto U.S.-traded products worth about $1-billion (U.S.), a World Trade Organization panel ruled on Monday, as the countries prepared to retaliate over the United States’ meat-labelling rules.

A WTO arbitration panel set the annual level of retaliation at $1.055-billion (Canadian) for Canada and $228-million (U.S.) for Mexico, considerably less than the $3.068-billion (Canadian) and $713-million (U.S.) the two countries had asked for.

The dispute stems from a 2009 U.S. requirement that retail outlets use labels in the United States to give consumers more information about the origin of their food.

Canada and Mexico have argued that U.S. rules, known as COOL (country of origin labelling), led to fewer of their cattle and pigs being slaughtered and processed in the United States, costing farmers’ income.

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