NAFTA is a strong trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. This agreement came into being in 1994. The initial emergence of this agreement began in 1989 between Canada and the United States alone, but was appended in 1994 to add Mexico. The Trump Administration has placed a big question mark smack dab in the middle of everything related to NAFTA. How are Canadians handling the new approach and discussion? We do know that some heavy lobbying has impacted it. And curt phone conversations have led to a commitment for a renegotiation. However, what can be expected between the three countries now?
The Significance of Renegotiating NAFTA Looms Large as Talks Begin
The Trump Administration has made clear, for the United States to stay in NAFTA there needs to be achievable, realistic goals. The Administration believes that the original NAFTA agreement costed over 700,000 US jobs. However, economists claim that is total over exaggeration at its finest. The Administration drafted an executive order for withdrawing from NAFTA, and claims that there has been an increased trade deficit hurting the economy. Economists once again come forward to dispute this. Most claim that there could be a great deal of economic gains for all 3 countries if new NAFTA talks prove worthwhile.
President Trump cannot withdraw from the NAFTA agreement without Congressional backing. Why? There are Constitutional laws asserting Congress as an authority over trade in general. In fact, the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) illustrates just this fact. So, in this respect, the success of renegotiating NAFTA doesn’t just lie with Trump, regardless of his past statement: “This is the worst trade deal ever!” There must be a majority of support in the House and the Senate in order for a total withdraw to occur. At least, this is what lawmakers claim.
What Does the Future Hold for Renegotiating NAFTA?
The Trump Administration notified Congress concerning the renegotiating of NAFTA a few weeks ago. However, the details of how this trade agreement must be improved and what modifications have to be made are vague. While the goal is to expand economic growth for the United States, Mexico and Canada—the fears of disruption in the agricultural area alone is slowing progress. Yes, the trade agreement needs to be modernized, but the right steps should be taken.
Environmental groups are coming down hard on the Trump Administration because progress has stalled. This is despite the campaign promises Trump made. Environmentalists such as Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said the Trump Administration has done nothing regarding appending:
- Environmental protections
- Climate change
- Polluted air and water
- Job loss
- Unfair wages
The primary point here is that we are discussing a trade agreement which was established 25 years ago; and of which has done little to bring positivism. Yes, trade provisions will be made; and environmental concerns will be addressed. Yet, there is a great deal of skepticism among politicians, so only time can tell what will really take place with this agreement. The uncertainty of NAFTA has everyone skeptical and on edge. You can’t help but ask, “Will it remain intact?”