NAFTA talks have always been a topic of interest, but they have always been friendly. Each country tries to figure out the best deal for itself and comes to a compromise at the end.
This is how things have been handled since NAFTA began, and there were no plans to change this. No one could have predicted the rise of Donald Trump and the effect it would have on NAFTA.
Experts right now keeping a close watch on the Montreal talks are hopeful, but they are also clear that NAFTA could actually end these talks.
The cause of the danger to NAFTA is clear – President Donald Trump’s views and methods. He has always had a very confrontational negotiating style. In his books he talks about how you can only win negotiations if you are willing to make the hard decision, even if it damages yourself somewhat.
The one with more leverage wins in a negotiation. This is why his government is playing hardball in a way that no government has done before.
Instead of reaching a compromise, the Trump administration has made it clear that it will exit NAFTA if things aren’t favorable to them. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t give Mexico or Canada a fair chance to negotiate. NAFTA has always been an agreement between the three countries, which means that a compromise has always been made to find out a deal that works for all 3 countries.
The Trump administration has made it clear that they do not want to compromise, which leaves Mexico and Canada in a very difficult situation.
They can either leave NAFTA, which none of the countries want to happen. If they want NAFTA to stay, they can agree to the demands of the Trump administration, but that isn’t an ideal solution either. Only time will tell whether NAFTA will survive these talks, as the danger to it is very real.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.