National Newswatch

NAFTA 2.0 – Is Hope a Sound Negotiating Strategy?

Nov 21 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – Why have I put the NAFTA 2.0 negotiations on Deathwatch? Why not wait a bit longer? Passage of tax legislation may change the negotiating environment. Congress is on our side. Why declare a Deathwatch? From the outset Canada’s and Mexico’s best option was to hope for the best and prepare for the […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Is Hope a Sound Negotiating Strategy?

Nov 21 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – Why have I put the NAFTA 2.0 negotiations on Deathwatch? Why not wait a bit longer? Passage of tax legislation may change the negotiating environment. Congress is on our side. Why declare a Deathwatch? From the outset Canada’s and Mexico’s best option was to hope for the best and prepare for the […]

NAFTA 2.0 – The negotiators are not playing pinochle

Nov 20 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – It is very misleading to describe Round Five of the NAFTA 2.0 rebalancing negotiations in Mexico City as quiet or slow. The TV camera ambush at the bottom of the stairs from the main negotiating floor was abandoned for much of Sunday. They are back at their posts but how often does […]

NAFTA 2.0 – The negotiators are not playing pinochle

Nov 20 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – It is very misleading to describe Round Five of the NAFTA 2.0 rebalancing negotiations in Mexico City as quiet or slow. The TV camera ambush at the bottom of the stairs from the main negotiating floor was abandoned for much of Sunday. They are back at their posts but how often does the […]

NAFTA 2.0: Poison Ivy and Silver Bullets

Nov 19 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – Round Five of the NAFTA re-balancing negotiations has launched in Mexico City. Don’t hold your breath waiting for significant breakthroughs. The talks are bogged down in poison pills and inflexibility. The battleground moved last week to Da Nang, Vietnam, a venue which has been conflict free for more than 40 years from what […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Deathwatch: Counting the days

Nov 18 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – Ambassador Robert Lighthizer added some spice to an otherwise boring Day 1 of Round Five by filing an updated report to Congress on the Administration’s negotiating objectives for NAFTA 2.0. There is not much change from the July 17, 2017 report which we analyzed here. The negotiations on Procurement and Automotive Rules […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Deathwatch: Counting the days

Nov 18 2017 — Peter Clark — MEXICO CITY – Ambassador Robert Lighthizer added some spice to an otherwise boring Day 1 of Round Five by filing an updated report to Congress on the Administration’s negotiating objectives for NAFTA 2.0. There is not much change from the July 17, 2017 report which we analyzed here. The negotiations on Procurement and Automotive Rules of Origin […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Don’t Drink the Kool Aid

Nov 2 2017 — Peter Clark — The NAFTA 2.0 re-negotiations are like meat in a shark tank. The doomsayers are flocking to print, TV studios and to their pulpits. But recent developments should not be surprising. The U.S. NAFTA re-balancing effort was in trouble from Day One. On January 23, 2017, I wrote: “We must hope for the best and prepare […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Don’t Drink the Kool Aid

Nov 2 2017 — Peter Clark — The NAFTA 2.0 re-negotiations are like meat in a shark tank. The doomsayers are flocking to print, TV studios and to their pulpits. But recent developments should not be surprising. The U.S. NAFTA re-balancing effort was in trouble from Day One. On January 23, 2017, I wrote: “We must hope for the best and prepare for […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Frontal attack on Canadian and Mexican Sovereignty

Oct 16 2017 — Peter Clark — Civil Society is fond of grumbling about trade negotiations infringing on national sovereignty. Until NAFTA 2.0 they have been wrong. Total rebalancing of NAFTA to benefit the U.S. makes their concerns very real. The key U.S. demands are a frontal attack on Canadian and Mexican sovereignty. The pace of meetings has slowed down. The two meeting […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Opening Pandora’s Box

Oct 13 2017 — Peter Clark — PENTAGON CITY, VA – Friday the thirteenth has been a bad day for Canadian trade negotiators. POTUS is on a roll – the builder of magnificent (if garish) buildings should never be allowed to play with the wrecking ball or the explosives. In the last few days he has: pulled the U.S. out of the […]

NAFTA 2.0 – Are its days numbered?

Oct 12 2017 — Peter Clark — PENTAGON CITY, VA – The Trump Administration is taking the gloves off. Were they ever on? President Trump told Fortune that a breakdown and pulling the plug was necessary to fix NAFTA. I was taught that trade negotiations were exercises in good faith. This rule does not apply in the world according to President Trump. […]

Bombardier Blitzed

Sep 27 2017 — Peter Clark — The NAFTA 2.0 negotiators are dealing with trade remedies this week. These disciplines on trade are more commonly known as safeguards, anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The first shoe has dropped in the Boeing–Bombardier trade remedies saga focusing real-time attention on the trade remedies warriors and reinforcing the importance to Canada of maintaining access to judicial review […]

NAFTA 2.0 – A Glimpse of the Detail

Sep 25 2017 — Peter Clark — Day 2, Sunday – was a beautiful sunny day for the NAFTA re-negotiators. Not much happening so far. Indeed, little can happen before Ministers arrive to give their blessing to the “warp speed” efforts of the professionals labouring on the floor above us. The press corps is anxiously hoping for nuggets from the smiling, tight-lipped […]