What’s next for NAFTA?


North America on globe

North America on globe

Since it came into force in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has had a massive impact on trilateral trade between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Trade between the three countries has increased dramatically, and their economies are now more intertwined than ever before.

In recent years, however, the backlash against the agreement has grown as some have blamed the agreement for the loss of American manufacturing jobs to Mexico and elsewhere.

In the wake of Trump’s election as President of the United States, it seems likely that NAFTA renegotiations will commence soon. We talked to some of the top experts in international law, customs and trade issues about what we can expect for the future of the agreement, and how NAFTA could be modified to benefit businesses in all three countries.

Moderator: Jon Yormick (@yormicklaw) is Special Counsel for Phillips Lytle LLP, and specializes in U.S. customs, cross-border strategies, export controls, economic sanctions, and FCPA/anti-bribery issues. He also runs his own international business law practice, with offices in Buffalo and Cleveland.


Alicia Nicholls (@LicyLaw) is an independent trade and development consultant in Barbados, as well as a consulting legal researcher for Franhendy Attorneys.

Horacio Lopez-Portillo (@hlopezpo) is a Partner at Vazquez, Tercero and Zepeda in Mexico City, specializing in trade and customs law, anti-dumping, tax litigation and corporate law.

John Boscariol (@tradelawyer) is Partner and leader of the International Trade and Investment Law Group at McCarthy Tetrault LLP in Toronto, specializing in anti-corruption, trade sanctions, export controls and other areas of international trade and investment law.

Joy Nott (@JoyNott) is the President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (I.E. Canada) in Toronto.

Paola Viviana Murillo (@Latinmirrai) is the Founder and Director of Latincouver, which helps expand local business opportunities for business in Latin America or with Latin American countries. She is also Marketing Consultant and PR Director for Mirrai International, working to help build connections between businesses in Latin American and Canada or the U.S.

What are NAFTA’s greatest strengths and weaknesses as a free trade agreement? Do the positives still outweigh the negatives?

Is NAFTA 2.0 still necessary given its age and the complexities of rules of origin?

President Trump called the TPP a disaster. Will his negotiators be willing to look to it and CETA as models for NAFTA 2.0?

How should NAFTA 2.0 address issues such as e-commerce, labor, the environment, and services?

How do you respond to those who blame NAFTA for job losses? How can NAFTA 2.0 affect the future job market?

When should we expect renegotiations? What can businesses do to affect or react to potential changes?

Read the rest of the chat and join future discussions by following the #TradeElite hashtag. Stay tuned for the next #TradeElite chat, coming up Thursday, March 9 from 2:30-3:30PM ET.

About the author

Author: Ewan Roy

I'm a Digital Marketing Specialist for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). My background is in writing and research, and I am passionate about communicating new ideas and telling stories that matter to you.

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