Changes, not withdrawal?
Rather than kill Nafta, Donald Trump and his advisers appear set to push for substantial changes to the treaty governing U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada, an effort that could prove difficult to negotiate and perilous to the regional economy.
Mr. Trump hasn’t released a blueprint for his new vision of Nafta, but his comments and those of his advisers suggest they want big changes. Among the likeliest would be special tariffs or other barriers to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and new taxes that would hit U.S. firms that moved production there, according to Trump advisers. His team says it may also seek to remove a Nafta provision that allows Mexican and Canadian companies to challenge U.S. regulations outside the court system.
For their part,
Mexican officials say they are willing to update the 22-year-old treaty, including adding new chapters on e-commerce and other aspects that didn’t exist in the mid-1990s.
But Mexican officials are wary of revisiting tariffs and export quotas.
Rather than panic, it appears to me that there is room for negotiation, even when both parties are coming from apparently opposite ends, especially if both countries focus on keeping jobs in our hemisphere rather than outsourced to China, as has been the case.
As I write this post, the Dow Industrials Top 19000 in Early Trading, a Day After Hitting Record Alongside S&P, Nasdaq