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Examining the Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement

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NAFTA renegotiations are underway.

President Trump has called NAFTA both a disaster and the worst deal ever. Through speeches and Tweets, he promises to rip-up NAFTA, restructure it with other trade deals to impose taxes on all U.S. imports and tax breaks on U.S. exports, and isolate Mexico by imposing 20 per cent tariffs on all imports while tweaking those NAFTA rules affecting Canada–U.S. trade.

The prospect of widely varying rules, rights and obligations as to how the United States will treat Mexico or Canada jeopardizes the notion of NAFTA. The promised wall between the United States and Mexico ends a century of policies of both Republican and Democratic U.S. presidents based on the free flow of goods, services, ideals as well as shared environmental and conservation objectives. While a physical wall will disrupt the migratory patterns of many land-based species, tariff walls on goods and emerging walls on cross-border services threaten to unravel not only NAFTA, but a century of cooperation. 

As part of its work on international trade, IISD invited a number of experts from Mexico, Canada and the United States to share their perspectives on NAFTA. These comments are posted below and will be updated on an ongoing basis. 

  • Commentary
    NAFTA’s Environmental Record: History, outcomes, impacts and options

    NAFTA’s Environmental Record: History, outcomes, impacts and options

    IISD has asked various experts from across Canada, the United States and Mexico to give their perspectives on NAFTA and the pending negotiations. This commentary, written by IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan is the introductary piece in this series. Read More
  • Commentary
    La renegociación del TLCAN: una oportunidad para el desarrollo sostenible / The Renegotiation of NAFTA: An opportunity for sustainable development

    La renegociación del TLCAN: una oportunidad para el desarrollo sostenible / The Renegotiation of NAFTA: An opportunity for sustainable development

    Isabel Studer, Executive Director for Mexico and Northern Central America, The Nature Conservancy gives us her take (in Spanish and English) on the NAFTA negotiations and their impact on sustainable development. Read More
  • Commentary
    NAFTA Renegotiations Offer Chance to Fix its Mistakes on Trade and the Environment

    NAFTA Renegotiations Offer Chance to Fix its Mistakes on Trade and the Environment

    Geoff Garver, adjunct professor in interdisicplinary studies on environment and sustainability at McGill University and Concordia University, gives us his view on the need to fix the environmental provisions in NAFTA.  Read More