Let's not kid ourselves, Trump's NAFTA bluster matters

Let's not kid ourselves, Trump's NAFTA bluster matters

Let's not kid ourselves, Trump's NAFTA bluster matters

"I think we'll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point", he said at a rally in Arizona of the efforts to tweak the three-nation deal with Mexico and Canada.

Daniel Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright, said he doubts that an overhauled NAFTA would do much to narrow America's trade deficit or restore lost US manufacturing jobs - results that Trump had vowed to deliver to the blue-collar voters in the Midwest who helped elect him.

"Trump's a good business man, he's a very good negotiator and that's his style of negotiation", said Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers.

Back in Canada, Randy Hoback, the Conservative critic for Canada-U.S. relations, said Trump's comments might be more bluff than belief, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken as a warning. "There's no need to abandon an agreement that has led to increased trade and relationships, but we would all benefit from an update". "Withdrawal from NAFTA would likely reduce US manufacturers' net income, unless higher costs are passed on to the customer". Trump has on multiple occasions suggested that NAFTA has made the United States worse off and that he's ready to scrap the agreement if no acceptable compromise is found. Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray brushed off Trump's comments as simply a negotiating tactic that should not surprise or frighten Mexico.

Barbara Dunlop, director of policy, planning and communications for the Department of Economic Development said the government needs to get a better sense of what is going to be discussed at the negotiation table. "I personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination but we're going to see what happens", he added.

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Consider also that reduced costs for parts and the reduced distances of the supply chain that NAFTA allowed for have made North American made vehicles more competitive around the world. But former Department of Agriculture trade advisor in the Bill Clinton Administration, Paul Drazek has this...

There should also be provisions to guard against currency manipulation and processes for dispute resolution that "respect our national sovereignty and our democratic processes", he said in a statement preceding the talks.

USA business groups and trade associations aren't happy about the idea, saying ISDS is key to protecting the US against theft and unfair treatment of USA property overseas. It could also mean USA investors in Mexico and Canada wouldn't be able to submit their grievances to ISDS either.

Canada sent Freeland, a senior cabinet minister, to attend the talks and say that "Canada doesn't view trade surpluses or deficits as a primary measure of whether trade works", thus aligning her country with the view of the vast majority of experts who've looked at the issue.

Barbara Glenn, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, said her group wants to see restrictions lifted on wine distribution in Canada and the removal of tariffs on US milk products.

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