Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has completed his first official visit to Mexico. He arrived home October 13, 2017.
Trudeau’s visit reinforced the ties between Canada and Mexico. Highlights of the visit included participation in a civil society roundtable discussion on the human rights situation, a visit to the Altar of the Nation, and an address to Mexico’s Senate.
Trudeau met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, where they discussed the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “As we move forward with NAFTA renegotiations, I am confident with our American partners, we can come to an agreement that is a win-win-win for people of all three countries,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s trip Mexico City followed a visit to Washington, DC where he met with US President Donald Trump, and participated in a roundtable on challenges faced by women, and girls. “Canada will continue to work with the U.S. to modernize NAFTA so that people in Canada, the United States, and Mexico can benefit from good, well-paying jobs and increased opportunities to provide for their families,” he said.
The U.S. has laid out its manufacturing proposals. According to Reuters US demands include a requirement that 50% of the value of all NAFTA produced cars, trucks, and large engines come from the United States. They are also asking for a “sunset clause” where NAFTA would be renegotiated every five years.
Also on the table is the dispute resolution processes dealing with investor-state (Chapter 11), and state-to-state (Chapter 20). American proposals on Chapter 11 would make the arbitration process voluntary. Changes to Chapter 20, would make the decision panels advisory. Changes to the dispute resolution process are considered a red line for Canadian officials.
Harper Breaks Silence on NAFTA
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Washington the same time as Trudeau. He was at a panel discussion where he revealed he was telling companies to start planning for life without NAFTA. “I believe that it is conceivable. I believe Donald Trump would be willing to take the economic and political risk of that under circumstances,” he said according to the Canadian Press.
Trudeau revealed similar thoughts following his meeting with Trump. “We are ready for anything, and we will continue to work diligently,” he told reporters. Authorities in Canada, the US, and Mexico hope to have a deal done by the end of this year.