Mexico, U.S. Have Different Goals for North American Free Trade Agreement

By Navarro, Carlos | SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico, August 23, 2017 | Go to article overview

Mexico, U.S. Have Different Goals for North American Free Trade Agreement


Navarro, Carlos, SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico


Mexico, Canada, and the US have launched the first round of negotiations on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but wide differences in a variety of areas could make for difficult talks in the weeks and months ahead. The three countries put a positive spin in a joint statement on Aug. 20, at the end of the first of many rounds of talks.

"While a great deal of effort and negotiation will be required in the coming months, Canada, Mexico, and the United States are committed to an accelerated and comprehensive negotiation process that will upgrade our agreement and establish 21st century standards to the benefit of our citizens," the countries said in the statement issued after five days of discussions in Washington, DC.

Mexico, Canada seek to tweak agreement

While the positions of Mexico and Canada might be similar, the two countries have huge differences with the US. In a joint press conference, Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland stated their desire to tweak certain aspects of the agreement to benefit all three countries. NAFTA has greatly helped to boost trade in the region, with the value of commercial exchanges among the three countries reaching US$1 trillion in 2015.

"Canada's objectives are clear: We want to protect NAFTA's record as an engine of job creation and economic growth," Freeland said. "We will work to modernize NAFTA to bring it up to date. We're going to work hard with our partners to make NAFTA more progressive, particularly with regard to labor, the environment, gender, and indigenous rights."

Guajardo, for his part, suggested that NAFTA had been a "strong success for all parties," and he cautioned against "tearing apart" the aspects of the accord that have worked. "To be successful, it has to work for all parties involved, otherwise it's not a deal," he Guajardo.

US wants overhaul

In contrast, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer mentioned a much different objective in his comments to reporters. Repeating some of the pledges that US President Donald Trump made during his campaign and during his first months in office, Lighthizer emphasized that the US would seek a major overhaul of the agreement.

"[Trump] is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and an updating of a couple of chapters," Lighthizer said. "We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many Americans and needs major improvements."

The Trump government blames NAFTA for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US, so the administration might seek language in the accord that would make it less attractive of US companies to relocate south of the border.

Additionally, the US is seeking to reduce the trade deficit with its two neighbors significantly. The US recorded trade deficits of US$64 billion with Mexico and US$11 billion with Canada in 2016.

The Trump government has justified its position by pointing to the loss of manufacturing jobs in several US Midwestern states, which Trump won in the presidential election. He has said that victories in industrial states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin provided him with a mandate to make deep changes to NAFTA or withdraw from the agreement altogether.

According to one poll conducted by Pew Research, NAFTA is viewed more favorably in Mexico and Canada than in the US. The accord was viewed favorably by 60% of respondents in Mexico and 74% in Canada. Of the respondents in the two countries, 33% in Mexico and 17% in Canada considered the accord unfavorable to their country. In the US, 51% of respondents said the agreement has been good for the country, compared with 39% who said it was harmful.

Mixed opinions in Mexico

Political and economic experts see a mixed mood in Mexico. "We are experiencing a climate of pessimism, similar to the time before negotiations on the current NAFTA began in February 1991," columnist Luis Enrique Mercado wrote in the daily newspaper Excelsior in late July. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Mexico, U.S. Have Different Goals for North American Free Trade Agreement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.