The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a free trade agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States in 1993 and came into force on January 1st, 1994. After more than 23 years of successful economic cooperation, supporting 14 million U.S. jobs and generating $1.2 trillion of commerce each year, the trade agreement is now being renegotiated and faces very tough challenges as the U.S. administration is pursuing major changes, not just a modernization.
Since the presidential campaign, President Donald Trump has been seeking a renegotiation of the trade deal, arguing that the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico is the culprit of American job losses and that NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever signed by the U.S. Negotiations between the three countries began in the summer of 2017 and are set to continue into early 2018. The U.S. is threatening to withdraw from NAFTA if the Administration’s demands are unmet.
As we approach the sixth round of negotiations taking place in Montreal in January, it is the right time to discuss the geostrategic consequences of the U.S. exiting NAFTA. It is important to recall that NAFTA was not pursued solely because of trade but also with a strategic vision of the importance of building a strong relationship with Mexico and encouraging economic growth there. Beyond trade, how would exiting NAFTA impact citizens in these three countries? What does withdrawing mean in terms of fighting transnational organized crime, of addressing migration flows from the south and on US-Mexico cooperation regarding Central America and other regional issues. What would the impact be on energy issues including energy security across North America? What would the impact be on jobs in the three countries and relationships with other U.S trading partners? What would the impact be on broader international cooperation with Canada and Mexico? Would there be an impact on countering terrorist threats?
Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Americas Program, CSIS
Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS
Ambassador Carla Hills
CSIS Counselor and Trustee
Panel discussion featuring:
- Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne, Senior Adviser with the Project on Prosperity and Development at CSIS and former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Argentina
- Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the United States
- Ambassador Michael Wilson, former Ambassador to the United States and Former Minister of Finance for Canada
- Moderator: Romina Bandura, Senior Fellow with the Project on Prosperity and Development and the Project on U.S. Leadership in Development at CSIS
Please join us on December 11th at CSIS (1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW) for this timely and relevant discussion. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #CSISLive and #NAFTA