In The Media

Foreign Ministers from NAFTA nations to meet in Mexico

by Remigio Civitarese (feat. Colin Robertson)

February 3, 2018

In his State of the Union address, Trump offered few details on his infrastructure and trade policy goals, but analysts said that these could impact pipeline construction, oil and natural gas flows, and permissions for energy export facilities.

"We find that the automobile rules of origin idea that was presented, when analyzed, may actually lead to less regional content than we have now and fewer jobs in the United States, Canada, and likely Mexico", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said January 29 at the conclusion of the negotiating round. Trump announced a year ago America will pull out of the accords and has ridiculed climate change as a "hoax" in the face of overwhelming academic consensus.

Trump didn't specifically mention NAFTA, but instead declared "the era of economic surrender is over". It is carefully worded to appeal to Trump's successes, pointing to them as a reason to stay in the trade deal. "We have some hard work to do to bridge those differences".

Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a Fellow of Canadian Global Affairs Institute, expects the participation of Canada and Mexico in a free trade agreement with nine other markets to have some influence on the NAFTA negotiations.

Trump pointed to his administration's "four-pillar" proposal for immigration reform. "Now we're seeing a lot of interest from Asian companies to invest and to import from Mexico". "The economy has been growing at over 2.5 per cent for the last four years and last year was a very good year", he said.

"I'm not sure why Mexico is being picked on", she said.

Third, Trump said his plan would end a lottery that "randomly hands out" green cards without regard for skill, merit, or safety of the American people.

"I'm very happy he didn't get into that mud".

Terminating NAFTA would be expensive to the United States by any measure. The agreement boosts millions of American jobs, commodity markets and critical industry supply chains.

"They're trying to achieve having more manufacturing products made in the United States", Biedermann said. "We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways and waterway across our land".

Kauzlarich with George Mason said that the US should look at its energy dominance as being part of a North American energy superpower, given the strong networks that flow across the two borders and the liberalization of Mexico's upstream oil sector that is strengthening US-Mexico ties. "Additionally, his focus on eliminating burdensome regulations is freeing up agricultural producers and removing obstacles to productivity".

Even if the U.S. withdraws, Canada is prepared, Trueau said giving out a signal to his trade partner. Pulling the rug out from under farmers and ranchers would harm all Americans.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, lauded recently enacted tax reductions that he said benefit farmers and ranchers and the administration's easing of regulatory burdens on producers.

Ralph Biedermann, the executive director of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Mid-America Chapter, said the Trump administration initiated the renegotiation after campaign promises to bring back factory jobs, and that the United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to new terms on three of 30 chapters so far. "We're going to take a little bit more time to see what the reaction to all the parties is to the ITC ruling".

Canadian officials came out of the latest talks in a better frame of mind than at the start of the week-long round, said a person briefed on the negotiating team's conclusions. Agriculture must be part of President Trump's proposal for merit-based immigration.

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