One of President Trump’s most aggressive campaign promises was to eliminate the twenty-three-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which in 1994 created a trilateral trade bloc between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the largest trade bloc in the world. Since assuming office earlier this year, the Trump administration has softened somewhat its posture on NAFTA, no longer calling for its elimination but rather a renegotiation.
The fifth round of trilateral talks on renegotiation took place in Mexico City earlier this month with a goal for concluding the renegotiation by March 2018 – an extremely ambitious timeline given the complexities of international trade dynamics set against a politically contentious backdrop. At the opening of the talks in August, the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, said that “NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement,” a contention that Canadian and Mexican officials dispute.
What is at stake in the NAFTA renegotiation talks under way? What issues will prove the most challenging? What are the consequences if the three countries cannot come to agreement on these? What is the impact of elections in both the United States and Mexico in 2018 on the renegotiation talks?
The Columbus Council on World Affairs invites you to join us on December 12 for a dialogue on these and related issues with the following distinguished speakers, with a special introduction by Douglas George, the Consul General of Canada in Detroit:
Jim Dickmeyer, a Senior Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State and North American Competitiveness Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Dan Ujczo, Of Counsel and and Cross-Border Development Director at Dickinson Wright PLLC in Columbus, Ohio.