Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Renegotiation of NAFTA, TPP and future of US EU Trade Negotiations

Some of you may recall that President Obama's campaign called for the renegotiation of NAFTA particularly on labor and environmental issues. That was done and apparently the 12 member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents a renegotiation of NAFTA by holding Mexico to fully enforceable labor provisions. In addition Mexico is also developing parallel labor reforms, including to better protect collective bargaining and reform its system for administering labor justice. TPP has been a signature economic objective of Democratic President Barack Obama.
However President elect Donald Trump has also called for the renegotiation of NAFTA including the scrapping of the (TPP) agreement and imposition of tariffs on China, blaming all for taking away U.S. jobs.  Some have asked ask why not renegotiate the TPP instead of NAFTA

Meanwhile Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that he is willing to reopen NAFTA while Mexico has indicated that discussion of NAFTA is OK but not renegotiation.  NAFTA was concluded in 1994 and is a well established agreement that requires member states to give 6 months notice to withdraw. If President elect Donald Trump is to keep his word, Trump’s administration will invoke the president’s unilateral trade retaliation authority as leverage to resolve problems created through negotiated settlements.

Another trade deal likely to take a backseat is the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S and European Union. Admittedly, negotiations are slow and were made more complicated after the UK this past summer voted to leave the EU. Given Trump’s criticism of free trade agreements, at a minimum there is likely to be a long pause for reflection before the new Administration decides to endorse negotiation of this mega-deal.

For more on Donald Trump's trade views see hereHis vision is "Negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America's trade deficit.|"

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