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Stronger Together: Canada and Mexico’s Role in NAFTA Negotiations

“It is very clear that Canada and Mexico are in this together”, says Agustin Barrios Gomez, former Mexican congressman.

The countdown to the official NAFTA negotiations has begun, and talks are set to begin August 2017. With the Trump administration taking a harsh stance against the free trade deal, Canada and Mexico more than ever need to stick together in partnership in order to ensure its survival.

But just what exactly can these two middle powers do when faced with such a large superpower as the United States? We’ve briefly broken down how the bilateral relationship between both Canada and Mexico will play a key role in the endurance of NAFTA:

At the NAFTA negotiations table: Given the fact that both countries are each within the other’s list of top 5 trading partners, and that each has access to highly experienced political negotiators, there is a potential that together they will be able to present a strong case against Trump. Because of this, Mexican government sources have stated that Mexico’s only condition when it comes to the negotiations is that Canada must be at the table with them at all times. Both Canada and Mexico have launched effective campaigns in the U.S. emphasizing the vast trade benefits both countries provide to them. Their unity as top trading partners will strengthen and ease modernization of NAFTA.

“Among the three countries, the U.S. is the one with the most to lose,” stated Gomez when discussing the challenges to come and the unity of Mexico and Canada.

Beyond the NAFTA negotiations: Apart from the discussions themselves, Canada and Mexico need to continue to assert their dedication to important regional issues that affect the Western Hemisphere. By collaborating on issues such as the environment, security, clean energy, and drug trafficking, Canada and Mexico will be able to counter Trump’s conservative agenda through upholding strong international Liberal ideals. Their alliance will also sustain the trade’s legacy in generating economic growth and raising standards of living in all three countries.

Canada and Mexico remain optimistic on revamping the 23-year-old trade deal to remain unified with the U.S. However, both countries are looking to diversify their trade options in case verbal provocations become too harsh to overlook. Their unity and hopeful success can create a platform for agreements elsewhere in the world.

When it comes to facing the “big guy”, two heads are better than one. Canada and Mexico may not be as powerful as the United States, but by sticking together and underlining their deep level of collaborating during the NAFTA negotiations themselves and within the larger political environment, these two middle-powers have a real chance at ensuring the survival of NAFTA.

As always, you can rely on Orbit Brokers as your Canadian Customs Broker to provide the information you need to know for your importing business if/when changes to NAFTA are made.

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