John Weekes writes in Policy Magazine on the differences in the negotiating environments between the first NAFTA and the just completed renegotiation that resulted in the USMCA. John says:
The contrast between the circumstances of the original NAFTA negotiations in 1991-92 and the renegotiation over the past year could hardly be starker. Twenty-seven years ago, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, President George H. W. Bush and President Carlos Salinas announced their commitment to enter trilateral negotiations with the objective of concluding an ambitious agreement that would eliminate or reduce to the maximum extent possible barriers to the free flow of goods, services and investment across the North American continent.
In 2017, President Donald Trump entered the White House intent on tearing up or rebalancing America’s international trade commitments. Trump and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer did not want agreements with strong enforceable rules that fettered the capacity of the United States to use its power to bully its partners into agreeing to rebalancing the trade rules in America’s favour.
The full article is available here.