In recent days, we heard Canadian and Mexican officials say that NAFTA should be re-negotiated trilaterally. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has stated that NAFTA talks must involve Mexico. And former PM Brian Mulroney has warned, “throwing friends and neighbours and allies under the bus is a position for a weak leader.”
That may be easier said than done, given that economic ties between Mexico and Canada, while not negligible, pale in comparison to ties between Canada and the U.S. on the one hand, and the U.S. and Mexico on the other. That can make standing united in the face of U.S. pressure to re-negotiate a little awkward.
In a recent post, Eric Miller hints at this issue when addressing the implications of in reformulating the pact for the auto sector. He points to some possible scenarios, among them “trifurcation”, where the Trump Administration would succeed in converting the trilateral trade into “three separate bilateral agreements – U.S.-Canada; U.S.-Mexico; and Canada-Mexico.”
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