TPP and Canada: Wishful Thinking on Supply Management?

08/26/14 By David N. Biette, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center. Americas Trade Policy

Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.
Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.

One of the many goals of multilateral trade agreements is to level the field so that companies, industries, and countries compete on the basis of market forces. This requires all participants to be willing to open their markets in protected sectors in exchange for better access to the markets of their trade partners. In order to get the benefits sought, each party to the negotiation has to give up something.

As Canada wraps up its Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU, it remains deeply involved in another very ambitious multilateral negotiation: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Canada became an observer to the TPP negotiations in 2010, but did not become a full member until 2012 because New Zealand, one of the founders of the TPP negotiations, and the United States held up Canada’s request due to concerns about Canada’s supply management of dairy, poultry, and eggs, as well as the longstanding U.S. complaint about Canada’s lack of protection for intellectual property rights.

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Op Ed: Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain

The New York Times, 11/24/2013

By Laura Carlsen

NAFTANafta is limping toward its 20th anniversary with a beat-up image and a bad track record. Recent polls show that the majority of the U.S. people favors “leaving” or “renegotiating” the model trade agreement.

While much has been said about its impact on U.S. job loss and eroding labor conditions, some of the most severe impacts of Nafta have been felt south of the border.

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Mexico backs Japan’s bid to join Trans-Pacific trade talks

Enrique PeñaNieto 2Reuters, 4/8/13

Mexico on Monday gave its support to Japan’s bid to join trade talks in the Asia-Pacific region that would create the world’s largest free trade zone. Japan asked to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in March and is awaiting a formal decision by the 11 current participating countries, which could come as early as this month.

“We express our sympathy, support and backing for the interest that Japan has shown in participating in the TPP,” Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. If Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, joins the TPP, the free trade zone would cover nearly 40 percent of world economic output.

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Time to review trade relations with Mexico

mexico-usa-flag-montageSan Francisco Chronicle, 3/12/2013

Since Enrique Pena Nieto’s election, the Mexican president has focused on economic growth and fighting poverty. The new Mexican administration should focus on out-competing China and other lower-cost manufacturers. The higher price of fuel has meant that goods from Asia are more expensive to ship, providing a further incentive for North American companies to source products from Mexico.

As we begin the 20th year of the North American Free Trade Agreement among Canada, the United States and Mexico, it is a good time to reflect on the seminal trade pact and how to encourage integration and foster economic growth.

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Mexico formally entered the TPP

Secretary of the Economy, 10/8/12

Bruno Ferrari

Mexico formally joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) as a full negotiating member once the other countries finished their internal procedures to accept new members. This important achievement in Mexico’s trade policy has been the result of an intense effort, which began in November 2011, when Mexico expressed interest in being part of this negotiation.

Lee: Arizona must step up its trade with Mexico [op-ed]

The Arizona Republic, Erik Lee, 9/21/12

Our neighbor to the south is an economic powerhouse, currently growing more than  twice as fast as we are. It is now in an even better position to buy products  that are “Made in the U.S.A.”, which in turn means that what’s good for Mexico’s  economy is, in the big picture, good for job creation in the United States. This  positive economic news about our neighbor is largely counterintuitive for most  Americans and an interesting realization…

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild recently went  on a trade mission to Sonora and Mexico City last month, their second this year,  which shows remarkable commitment to this topic. However, there continues to be  a fundamental shortage of resources dedicated statewide for expanding trade with  Mexico.

The outcomes of trade policy affect people through their jobs and their  personal economies. With 6 million jobs in the U.S. depending on trade with  Mexico, we must discuss how to build upon this fortuitous and very large  economic exchange at the national, state and local levels.

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Building a Better Border [opinion]

AS/COA, Eric Farnsworth, 8/2/12

As North American economic integration intensifies, the importance of the border will increase. That is particularly true in sectors, such as autos, that are no longer “made in the USA” or “made in Mexico,” but, along with Canada, made in North America. Such products cross the border several times during the production process; a thick or inefficient border is a drag on production and reduces global competitiveness.

This reality has intensified since implementation of NAFTA almost 20 years ago. Today, North America is a true co-production platform. Conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Mexico and Canada both joined in June, will continue this integration process as North America engages collectively with Asia. Accelerating economic trends will amplify the role of the border in regional commercial affairs. Fortunately, we have an excellent opportunity to build a better border should we, in the words of Mission: Impossible, choose to accept it.

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