by Countable | 12.14.17
Uncertainty over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) looms as trade negotiators from the Trump administration continue discussions with their Canadian and Mexican counterparts.
As of late November there had been five rounds of negotiations, covering all aspects of trade between the three countries. The goal of U.S. trade representatives has been to reduce the "trade deficits", or the dollar value difference of imports versus exports, between the U.S. and the two other countries.
After the fourth round of talks there was an explosive press conference at which, according to CNN, "Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo slammed the Trump administration's proposals in front of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. He in turn lobbed criticism back at them while they all stood together in front of cameras."
As a result, the fifth round of negotiations in November were held with staff of the three trade representatives, and not the representatives themselves.
The CBC reported on Monday that meetings were held this week in Montreal between the official negotiation rounds. They expect President Trump to be forced to make a final decision by March 2018 whether to take steps to withdraw from the agreement or commit to final negotiations.
Central issues of contention at this point are auto and auto parts manufacturing, agriculture and dispute-resolution mechanisms. The U.S. has proposed instituting a five-year sunset on the agreement, forcing the three countries to renegotiate and recommit every five years or the agreement would end.
Canadian and Mexican representatives have called that a non-starter, but have proposed a compromise of requiring a full assessment of costs and benefits every five years, arguing that a sunset clause would discourage investment.
Do you support NAFTA or not? Do you think the U.S. should renegotiate to try and reach terms more favorable to the U.S.? Should we leave NAFTA completely?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: U.S. Dept of State via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
One of the attractions of trade agreements is stability. The Trump Administration promised to end NAFTA and this requirement is being used to kill the trade agreement. NAFTA is a benefit to the US and creates more jobs than have been lost and has increased trade profits beyond what would have been created without it. If we, the US, loses NAFTA and as a result the jobs it created and trade it has created we will deserve the consequences for electing this President and Congress!
I just now realized that ever since the 2016 election we’ve been experiencing a zombie apocalypse. The republicans have spent the past year assaulting human civilization& spreading the zombie plague to unsuspecting voters. The only cure is to VOTE them OUT
Now that cannabis is legalized in Canada, the cost of their healthcare will decrease even further, and Canadians will become even healthier. If our representatives had any respect for us then we would have affordable natural cures. Not an insurance industrial complex, sponsored doping of Americans.
Trump clearly doesn’t understand the negotiation process. You can’t go into a negotiation telling everyone else there to give you everything that you want. There’s always give and take. I think ultimately Trump just wants to pull out of NAFTA which would be absurd since we’d be cutting off a trade pact with the countries that are right next to us. NAFTA has had a marginal effect on the US economy anyway, but overall it appears to be net positive. If we really want a fairer trade system, then Trump should negotiate something like the Breton Woods agreement, but I’m asking too much of Trump who can’t even negotiate properly with his own party.
Rule 1 of Collective Narcissism: analyze everything proposal from every angle until you find motive(s). Narcissists rarely do ANYTHING without a personal gain motive. When Obama compared the Trump administration to that of the Nazi regime, it was NOT A comparison of a their stance on antisemitism, it was a comparison of collective narcissism. So, the question we must ask is; what is the corporate or marketing benefit of ending our relationship to NAFTA.
Please work on getting the current administration out of office. They are a mixture of ignorance, fatalism, religious extremism, greed, ego, etc. They follow Putin’s agenda to destroy America. Get them out!
Please do all you can to make Net Neutrality a continued a reality in the U.S. Do not move us one step closer to an Orwellian state, keep our web free, companies cannot have the final say in what information we have access to! Power to the consumer! The people! Who you represent after all!
Puerto Rico should serve as a warning all Americans. This is what this GOP is willing to inflict on its people. The entire rust belt including many parts of Texas are next to fall. It is war, this is domestic terrorism. Why are we not fighting back? After 9/11 we fought back, what makes this so different?
Oh please make enemies of our closest neighbors Let’s kill jobs and services Might as well It would be par for the trumpian course We’ve lost respect of every country in the world Let’s kill our trade too
The GOP has and is committing Genocide of the people of Puerto Rico. Why isn't anyone stepping in? Do you not realize we are next in their class war? Where is our military, the UN, anybody? Do not super powers deserve protection. Trump is this nation's kryptonite; he is literally being allowed to poison million and kill any entire culture. What in the hell!
The problem is not the trade agreement but Trump’s antagonistic approach to negotiation Treats are not best negotiation tool and does not lead to compromise. These are our closes neighbors, why attack them. US auto companies sale cars in both countries, they should have manufacturing in those countries. Increased investment in education and technology will overcome any trade imbalance. The republican attack on education will set the US back. Just read the cuts in the budget and the proposed tax law which will cripple science and economic growth.
The things this administration and the Republican Congress have done has caused such shock and trauma in the hearts of average Americans that I’m sure we will suffer PTSD symptoms. I’m still having flashbacks of that night when Trump won.
Maybe by March all of trump and his cabinet will be in jail, That's when we should be negotiating.
Canada is turning Islamic Soon they will be another terrorist breeding ground
I somewhat support this idea
A boom for Canada and Mexico at the USA’s expense.
I want fair trade. Fair for the workers in our country.
I don’t know all the details of NAFTA; I’m betting Trump doesn’t either. I don’t know the cons to the agreement. The pros include good working relationships with our closest neighbors and cheaper prices for goods in the US. I don’t know what could be better negotiated but I know that there should be pros for all three countries. FYI, I recently spent several weeks in Canada and I noticed their goods are more expensive and not as good of selection as we have here in the US.
The fact is jobs flow over the border every day because of nafta. American company’s. Want no benefits no responsibility for epa taxes and cheap labor. You say there’s jobs. From nafta your dreaming. Maybe flipping hamburgers.. any real employment will run over the border. Every day I see more company’s moving out. Put a cork in the leak before we sink.