NAFTA

Bill Owens: We Stand Alone

Dec 5, 2017

The Trump administration continues to stand outside the playing field as others move forward with significant trade deals. The most recent evidence is the agreement of eleven nations to move forward with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) without U.S. participation. The new TPP Agreement includes not only Southeast Asian countries, but our neighbors, Canada and Mexico who are currently participants in NAFTA with us.

Bill Owens: NAFTA Update

Oct 19, 2017

It appears that few of the critical issues have been resolved in the first two rounds of negotiations. Most of the press reports and insider commentary indicates that the process is not going particularly well, which was confirmed by two recent events. On Friday, October 6, 2017, the announcement by the U.S.’ chief negotiator that vehicles would have to have a specific level of US content as opposed to NAFTA content is a significant departure from previous positions held by the United States, though no specifics were provided. On October 11, 2017 Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit included threats from Mr. Trump to withdraw from NAFTA.

Bill Owens: NAFTA Talks

Sep 1, 2017

The United States, Canada and Mexico had their first day of negotiations on Wednesday August 13th, 2017. Prior to the U.S. Trade Representatives, Robert Lighthizer, remarks it was difficult to determine the direction those negotiations might take and their impact on our region. Most of what takes place in Washington has little direct impact on our region. NAFTA is a major exception to that axiom. 

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers are talking about Canadian-U.S. trade relations days after President Donald Trump threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement.

North Country Business Expo 2017
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada has been in effect for more than two decades.  President Donald Trump has promised to renegotiate the deal.  During a business expo in Plattsburgh last week, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley discovered that many businesses in the border region aren’t worried about the pending negotiations.

Bill Owens: Trump's Canadian Teeter-Totter

Mar 31, 2017

We are all familiar with the children’s playground equipment known as a teeter-totter. As I pondered Mr. Trump’s Canadian policy, that toy came to mind. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump touted the fact that he would tear up NAFTA or renegotiate it. Following the election, he doubled down with little or no substance nor indication as to what his actual concerns or plans were. The selection of Mr. Ross as secretary of commerce and Mr. Navarro as a trade advisor brought a decidedly hostile view of trade agreements to the administration.

The presidential candidates have sent a spark into the free-trade wood pile.  Think softwood lumber—as “in the weeds” as it gets.

It seems most of the media coverage and much of the country is focused on the presidential election of 2016. What will impact your life more: oil and China, or presidential politics?