The Vice-President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute suggests the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement will depend very much on the direction the United States chooses to go as a nation.
Round five of discussions aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement is set for next month.
Colin Robertson, the Vice-President and a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says while the creation of the Canada U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement were mostly about Canada and Mexico and have been key to expanding the roles of Canada and Mexico as international traders, the renegotiation of NAFTA is focused on the United States.
This is all about the United States and whether the United States still wants to play the role of leader in the international system that it created after the second world war.
It’s been the steward of the architecture of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization because it believed it was in the United States’ interest to act as leader and to set what I call the general operating system for the global, whether we’re talking about economics or peace and security.
Donald Trump takes a different view. Donald Trump talks about America First, Buy American and Hire American and he’s turned his back on multilateralism. He wants to renegotiate the trade agreements. In the American Interest he wants to use trade agreements to balance trade. This is something we’ve never seen by a developed economy.
~ Colin Robertson, Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Robertson says this debate is all about the United States and what kind of nation it wants to be. He says although Canadians are making major efforts to remind the Americans that we are a reliable trade partner, a reliable ally and a good friend and neighbor and Mexico is doing the same, this will all be up the Americans which why where America goes on this in Congress, at the state level and in the administration is so important.