In The Media

Delayed Resumption of Re-negotiations Expected to Favour US NAFTA Supporters

by Bruce Cochrane (feat. Colin Robertson)

FarmScape
Oct 23, 2017

CANADA & US - The Vice-President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says a planned one month break in negotiations aimed at modernizing NAFTA will allow interests in the United States that favor maintaining the agreement time to make their point, Bruce Cochrane reports.

After negotiations aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement hit an impasse, negotiators have decided to delay the start of Round 5 and extend the timeline for completing the talks.

Colin Robertson, the Vice-President and a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says, from a Canadian and Mexican perspective, the feeling is that unless the Trump administration is prepared to show some flexibility an agreement not likely to be reached.

Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Canada and Mexico on their own will not be able to sway the administration.

What swayed the administration on Day 100 was particularly pushback from the farm community who said, "no, this NAFTA is working for them".

In fact, I think time is probably useful.

A Canadian expression, "we rag the puck for awhile," because this will give time for those who favor a renegotiated but not arbitrary North American Free Trade Agreement time to make their voices heard in the United States.

Many of them of course are people who voted for Trump within the business community, within the farm community and within the auto manufacturing community.

Our sense now is that the business community, through the US Chamber of Commerce, through the Business Roundtable, through the National Association of Manufacturers, through the Automakers, the Farm Bureau and others are now going to push back and start to explain why the NAFTA has worked for the United States.

Mr Robertson says there's a sense that the Trump administration is not terribly interested in having an agreement and at some point, rescind NAFTA.

However, he observes, if the broader community who favors freer trade makes their voices heard, that may persuade the administration to temper its demands and work things out.


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