Apparently, Everyone Negotiating NAFTA Is a Child

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
apparently everyone negotiating nafta is a child

If you’re anything like this author, you’ve probably abandoned discussing the North American Free Trade Agreement in your personal life. That’s not because it stopped being important, but rather due to the fact that none of the three countries involved seem capable of making any sort of progress.

Presently, the United States and Mexico are focusing on rules associated with automotive production. However, after two days of non-stop negotiation, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the two sides haven’t resolved their differences on the pending issues. Now Mexico says it won’t consider further negotiations until Canada agrees to a deal.

Here’s where things get remarkably shitty. Canada has already explained that it’s waiting for the U.S. and Mexico to strike a deal of their own. “If they can resolve their differences on [automotive trade], then I think we can move ahead and have the three of us talk about some of the other issues that affect all of us,” David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S, said in an interview earlier this month.

That leaves Canada only willing to resume talks if the United States shakes hands on something with Mexico, and Mexico only willing to move ahead if the U.S. and Canada agree to terms on the same deal. At this point, we might as well dissolve NAFTA, as nobody seems interested in keeping it around. Negotiations have only gone poorly after the United States moved for a renegotiation. But now it looks like the only country interested in keeping the agreement, despite asking for quite a bit in exchange.

Numerous self-imposed deadlines passed as the U.S. slowly backpedaled on some of its earlier demands. But it appears those efforts yeilded nothing.

Bloomberg reports that America has agreed to keep the 2.5-percent tariff that’s currently on cars imported from Mexico provided they’re assembled at factories that already exist. Tariff impositions for other vehicles were unclear, but the outlet claims they could be as high as 25 percent. The content rules also seem to have gone unchanged, mandating higher U.S. parts requirements in a bid to help secure American jobs. While it remains a contentious issue for foreign governments, domestic automakers don’t seem to mind.

Meanwhile, Canada has been out of talks for five weeks as it waits on Mexico and the United States. “We need to have engagement with Canada, and the only way it can happen is if we continue through the weekend and into next week,” Guajardo told reporters on Thursday.

We’ve heard nothing about Canada rejoining talks, but we do know it’s more on board with the U.S. proposals than Mexico. Perhaps it can work something out and get this slow-moving show back on the road. Otherwise, we may be stuck without an agreement until Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office in December.

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Aug 25, 2018

    It seems to me many are missing the whole NAFTA exercise. That is a multilateral agreement. Trump and his economic illiterates are trying to set the US up with bilateral arrangements. This ain't going to work in a global world. Countries will move away gradually from the US ...... oh this is already occurring.

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    • Thelaine Thelaine on Aug 26, 2018

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Aug 26, 2018

    “I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood." - John McCain (RIP)

    • Thelaine Thelaine on Aug 26, 2018

      Please. Coming from a dishonest, hypocritical, bitter, jealous, condescending, egomaniac narcissist elitist who berated normal Americans to just STFU and do what they were told. RIP JM, and eternal thanks for your service in Vietnam. As for your political career, well...thank you again for your service in Vietnam.

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  • Jeff S We all have issues some big and most not so big. Better to be alive and face the issues than to be dead and not have the opportunity to face them.
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