In a surprise announcement, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Wednesday that the US and Mexico could come to terms on a bilateral trade deal if Ottawa does not step up and strike a deal soon. Mexico and the US announced a deal on August 27, this agreement reached after months of hard talks in both Washington and Mexico City. The renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA – is what we at Classiarius feel is best for all three parties involved. Mexico was thought to the be the tough part of talks but it is Canada in fact that has challenges.
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and her team have focused on social justice issues – some making sense – that seem to be shutting down talks. Trade officials in both Mexico and the US are scratching their heads when transgender rights and other social issues are brought up as the labor components of trade talks. Trump asked for increased salaries for Mexican workers in auto plants in Mexico, Canada rejected and pushed back. However, there were many modern social justice requests from the Canadian side. The social justice agenda and the openly hostile attitude toward President Trump has put Freeland in a tight spot. On her recent trip to Washington, she was forced to meet junior members of the negotiating team. This puts Canada at risk.
We must take into account the ideas, at least listen to the ideas of Ottawa and consider the meaning when talks are underway. However, most countries like India, China, Saudi Arabia and Mexico would consider the social justice agenda a domestic conversation, not an international conversation injected in trade talks. Most people who travel and study other cultures will know that social justice can be discussed in the US and Canada, but other countries have different views on this subject.
We strongly believe that the best result will be a NAFTA II, as the Canada, US, Mexico Fortress is the most energy and food secure block on the planet. And it is safe from any outside interference while having 500 million consumers. It is the template for the future. We hope Canada is included in a three-way trade deal.