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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Secretary Ross and the Commerce Department Wrongly Conclude NAFTA Rules are Bad for the U.S.

10/4/2017 Forbes

Flag_of_the_North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement_(standard_version).svgBy Luis de la Calle

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross published an important op-ed (These NAFTA rules are killing our jobs) in the Washington Post this past Friday, September 22nd.  In it, he claims to offer a serious analysis to show that the trade deficit with Mexico and Canada and lower U.S. value-added in Mexican and Canadian U.S. imports are proof the United States is losing under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Secretary Ross aims to end the “loose talk” about industrial integration for automobile production in the region.

The problem with the article and the U.S. Department of Commerce paper it is based on is that they cherry pick statistics out of the March 2017, Trade in Value-Added (TiVA) database by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in an attempt to confirm the Trump’s administration bias that trade deficits are bad and lead to job losses.  This wrongheaded approach (the trade deficit with Mexico does not harm the United States) does a growing disservice to the comprehension of the importance of international trade for the economy and further politicizes the issue. More worryingly, it shows civil service officers can be influenced so that their analysis comports with White House views on trade.

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Trump wants to restrict trade and immigration. Here’s why he can’t do both.

9/11/2017 The Washington Post

Recently, trade negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico concluded the first round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump has made clear that he wants a deal that cuts the U.S. trade deficit— and brings manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Trump also threatened to withdraw from the South Korea-U.S. free-trade agreement (KORUS), citing unfair trade practices and a desire to bring home U.S. jobs.

At the same time, Trump is supporting the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (Raise Act), which would cut legal immigration by 50 percent. And he announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which could mean the deportation of about 690,000 “dreamers” — immigrants who came into the country illegally as children.

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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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Trump hates NAFTA, but it has made Florida a jobs winner

7/31/2017 The Miami Herald

By Jerry Haar, Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Donald Trump has called NAFTA the “single worst trade deal in history.” However, I believe that dubious honor should go to the Rus’–Byzantine Treaty between the Byzantine emperorConstantine VII and Igor I of Kiev, concluded in 945 A.D. (Russia really lost bigly on that one.)

NAFTA has been the proverbial whipping boy, a veritable piñata, since its inception in 1994. Despite a slew of highly sophisticated studies carried out by independent economists that clearly show that NAFTA has produced marginal gains and only marginal losses, politicians, ideologues, and pundits of the left and right continue to slam the agreement as the economic equivalent of the bubonic plague.

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