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NAFTA Assessment

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Peter Hakim, of the Inter-American Dialogue, examines what he calls the “high cost of tampering with NAFTA.” It raises serious concerns about the future of free trade and US relations with Latin America:

“For sure, other Latin American nations have been watching closely. Even though China has replaced the United States as the largest trade partner of many countries of the hemisphere, most Latin American economies are still heavily reliant on US trade and investment (though assuredly not to the extent of Mexico or Canada). And many nations have established high levels of cooperation with the US on other fronts. But governments and their citizens across Latin America have become increasingly wary and mistrustful of the Trump administration. In the short run, they—like Mexico—have few options other than continuing to work with Washington and accommodate to its current policies in the region. But the region is already searching hard for alternatives, and will surely find them if the current US agenda for the Americas persists. By trying to impose its will on Mexico and the rest of Latin America, often in disagreeable, offensive ways, the Trump government is steadily losing its already paper thin credibility in the region.”

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