NAFTA Support Within US Key to Keeping Deal Alive

Fri, 06 Oct 2017

US - The Vice-President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute suggests expressions support from within the United States for NAFTA will be critical in keeping the trade agreement alive, according to Bruce Cochrane.

The fourth round of discussions aimed at modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement will begin Wednesday.

Colin Robertson, the Vice-President and a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says as discussions move on to the more contentious issues there is still the fear that President Trump will rescind the agreement.

Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute

This is a trillion dollar trading arrangement.

For Canada three quarters of our trade, or actually almost 80 per cent of our trade is with the United States which is our largest export market and with Mexico which is our third largest export market.
For Mexico, similarly, the United States is their biggest export market.

Canada is their third export market and for the United States Canada and Mexico are in their top three export markets.

Both Canada and Mexico export well over 70 per cent of what they produce to the United States.

The case of the United States, they export about 16 per cent of what they produce to Canada and a little less to Mexico.

It's asymmetrical in that sense but it is still important.

Our reckoning is that between Canada and Mexico we account for about 16 million jobs in the United States.

Nine million of those jobs depend on trade with Canada.

Efforts to break this down at the state level have illustrated that, for 35 American states, their top trading export market is Canada and so both Canada and Mexico have been making major efforts in the previous months to inform their American customers as well the suppliers in the United States that we buy an awful lot from the United States, that this trading relationship really matters and that in order for it to remain in place they're going to have to speak out and let President Trump know.

Mr Roberson says when those within the US farm community got wind that the President was thinking of rescinding NAFTA, they spoke out loudly and clearly and their voice was determinant in persuading the president to not rescind NAFTA and they'll need to continue to speak out.