NAFTA and the Future of Canada, Mexico and the USA

NAFTA and the Future of Canada, Mexico and the United States

Geopolitical Weekly  –Tuesday, January 7, 2014 –  Stratfor
By Marc Lanthemann

The 20th anniversary of NAFTA‘s implementation on Jan. 1 has revived some of the perennial arguments that have surrounded the bloc since its inception. The general consensus has been that the trade deal was a mixed bag, a generally positive yet disappointing economic experiment.

That consensus may not be wrong. The history of the North American Free Trade Agreement as an institution has been one of piecemeal, often reluctant, integration of three countries with a long tradition of protectionism and fierce defense of economic national sovereignty. While NAFTA was a boon for certain sectors of the economy, particularly the U.S. agriculture industry, the net effect of the world’s second-largest trade bloc remains somewhat unknown. 

The debate over NAFTA can, however, obscure some fundamental realities about the future of North America and its three major countries. While the formation of the trading bloc represented a remarkable political achievement, NAFTA has remained a facilitating institution whose success has mirrored the ebb and flow in the slow but inevitable economic integration of the United States, Mexico and Canada. What lies ahead for the three countries will not so much be the result of NAFTA as NAFTA will be the result of the strong geopolitical imperative binding the three together. Washington, Mexico City and Ottawa are tied into major global and regional trends that Stratfor has been following over the years, trends that continue to point to a comparatively bright future for the North American triad.

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  • de castro  On January 10, 2014 at 5:24 am

    NAFTA not unlike IMF WORLD BANK is a defunct organisation that is not worth the paper it is written on….”toilet paper”
    Its is only by the free movement of goods services and peoples
    that neighbours can prosper… per Europe s role model.
    I can fly city to city in euroland for less than £60 return
    I can soon be able to travel by HS (high speed train) city to city
    without showing a passport…SHENGEN
    I can also travel by coach or car to most cities in euroland without passport
    Wake up USA CAN MEX and NAFTA you will miss the boat train coach or plane
    as you dream of whats “possible” ….
    is the way forward….one currency one exchange rate one destiny

    Kamptan Guyana’s moto “one people one nation one destiny”

  • detow  On January 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Open borders with the USA equals proliferation of guns; open borders with Mexico equals the proliferation of drugs. de castro are you drunk, what the hell are you proposing for Canada?

  • de castro  On January 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Canada….with 30m can just be another (underpopulated) american state….
    53rd ….as for gun laws maybe USA can adopt some Canadian
    laws an improvement ! As for mexico drug trafficking isn’t some
    states in USA legalising marijuana already “successfully” may add..
    Legalising and taxing is way forward.
    A lot of the “differences” USA CAN MEX is media generated.
    In the “short term” it may seem impossible ….in the long term
    am sure its possible…..full integration takes years as per euroland
    Common market began 40+ years ago….today its “reality”….
    Politically it may take longer but economically it can begin yesterday.
    Profiteering on your neighbours import/export imbalances is history
    today…..with winners/losers… trade benefits all…win win situ
    for all…..the world is global…nationalism history.
    We have had imperialism/communism/fascism/Nazism/capitalism now socialism.
    The world of dreams have no borders…..dream on its free and dreams
    can come true….a united world without borders.
    My dream…my spin !

    • detow  On January 12, 2014 at 2:42 am

      Canada’s smallness is good as it give us space to grow population wise, industry wise and every way in which the USA, and to some degree Mexico, cannot. Also you seem to be quite a dreamer in believing that the USA with its history of protectionism will allow any adoption of foreign laws (gun control) to dictate what they do and how they do it. They enjoy all of the amendments that are in their constitution and will never accept change. And you have lost me with the statement “As for Mexico drug trafficking ……………….” What has that to do with the free trade, open border suggestion? Please explain. The Euro free trade deal still has quite a few hurdles to jump as is evident with some nations already wanting to pull out of it. I believe that it is just a matter of time before that totally unravels. A united world without borders (this world) will only be a reality if a place is found that can sustain human life, and a way is found to take everyone from this world to it. Short of that every nation on this earth will continue to describe its borders and defend their right to control what happens within. Although travel is easier now between Euro free trade areas, there is still the need for travelers to have passports issued by the respective countries in which they are citizens. I like your dream and your spin but I am grounded in reality. My dream…that humans learn to truly live and let others live without interference; my spin…I know full well that that will never happen.


  • de castro  On January 12, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I share you sentiments and your realism but I sometimes despair.
    As for dreaming.. it calms the savage beast and its frees the soul.

    The greed and averice that rules today in our materialistic world
    is unreal….unsustainable. Where it all ends is a calculated guess.
    Incidentally I was not “selling” Europe but the idea of a united Europe.
    My dream for a “united world” may remain a dream….
    United states of north america which includes Mexico and Canada
    more so Latin America will remain a dream….
    United states of euroland a more realistic dream which began
    after “post war” Europe….an interesting “experiment” that can work…is working.
    Let’s be real the history of Europe was all about wars and conquest some religious some economics others political. We can but learn from these mistakes by not
    repeating them…..hence my optimism !!
    As for passports/visas etc I consider them a “flag” of convenience.
    I do understand your nationalistic sentiments and your wish to remain
    small….as it is beautiful…big is ugly….but united is stronger.
    Hence my dream of a united world….dreams may seem impossible
    but some do come true….we make them !
    Dream on its free !

    • detow  On January 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Kamptan: I think that we beaten this topic to death and should call it a stalemate. I will get you on another one. And thanks for being the kind of person I enjoy having a civilized discussion with, someone who does not falter in the use of the English Language and needs to resort to expletives when reason fails.

  • Greg DeCastro  On January 12, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Any Free Trade Deal with the USA is a one way deal, i.e. it only happens to the exclusive benefit of the USA. Canada has won the Softwood lumber Trade dispute before the WTO more than 3 times, but the Protectionist nature of the US Lumber Industry has rendered that victory an empty one. To this day there are still tariffs imposed on Canadian Softwood lumber entering the US. However, they want our water and object strongly when we say it is ours to protect. So the Bully USA wins again.

    Hope I am not stirring the pot once more, but I could not resist putting in my two sense in. (LOL).


  • de castro  On January 13, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Welcome input Greg
    Protectionist policy is the “old world” attitude….I will Google WTO to establish its
    membership…and its “manifesto” then comment further.
    UN is also on Google.
    Information is but a Google away in to morrows world.
    Protectionist policies is “short term thinking” in today’s
    climate….we are living in a Global village and hindsight
    teaches fools…..the next generation of villagers migrate
    to towns and cities…never to return to their roots…except
    on holidays or special occasions…
    Where I lived in the mountains of southern Spain
    many of the smaller villages population has become
    “extinct” or inhabited by “old and infirmed”….
    My sister village to CHERIN is LUCANENA population
    today 10 souls …massive church and 100± empty houses..empty
    derelict school etc etc.
    Canada can double its population in the next decade as it has done
    over past two decades….plus plus situ for its future growth.
    Many present day Canadians will “object” to this suggestion
    but “get real” isn’t Canada and USA countries of “economic
    migrants”….today in UK we have a housing crisis….fear of another
    “Boom and bust” bubble in house prices….politicians are suggesting
    the building of “new towns” with affordable “public housing” as was
    done in late 1950_60s….guess what…villagers as “screaming” not
    in my backyard….
    Circle kumplete..karma

    UK s population 66m estimated(guestimated) 75m by 2030
    an increase of less than 10% and the nationalists are “screaming”
    not in my backyard
    my two cents
    Kamptan PS Greg welcome to the club.

    • detow  On January 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      As I was trying to digest your latest input which is in response to Greg’s take on the global village I was stopped dead in my tracks when I heard the latest US dictatorial advice to the rest of the world, Canada included. Based on what I heard it now appears that we are looking at a global dictatorship rather than anything of a free, and inclusive nature. I am sure that you are now aware of the US’s dictate to all of the world’s banking institutions that they are mandated to search their records and report to the USA any and all records of persons with US connections who do business with anyone, anywhere in the world.
      While we are thinking that the world may be ready to embrace the global image, here comes the US with its own twist on things…..any banking institution that does business with them which does not comply with their recent law will be taxed thirty percent of all funds generated by them in dealings with that country. How convoluted can we get…..maybe the answer is the global village standing up to the bully in the same way that the rest of the world defied Hitler’s attempt at global domination.

      Welcome Greg…and you thought that it would be easy….you now have an additional take on your suggestion of US protectionism. Let’s see if the bully wins again….

  • de castro  On January 14, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Surely banking laws exist internally which have regulations that are enforced
    rigourously. If broken severe fines/penalties imposed if not complied with.
    Banks are regulated by government to protect consumers from being
    exploited/abused unfairly.
    Banks must also comply with international rules on how they do business.
    Internal banking differs from external banking on how they function.
    Internal banking must comply with rules set by central banks.
    Central banks can operate independently or be controlled by minister of finance/lord chancellor. BOE is the responsibility of MOF….who appoints
    a governor to manage the bank….in UK s case it is a Canadian CARNEY
    ex governor of the BOC….appointed in June 2013 on a 5 year contract
    Renewable after 3 on a salary of 375.000£ pa…him and his MPC
    (Monetary policy committee) meet monthly to decide on whether to raise/lower
    central banks interest rates….at moment .5%…rate at which local banks
    borrow at….this has been .5% for over three years…which I question…why ?

    BOE raises money in markets by sale of bonds…at moment 1.37%.
    BOG germany raises money in markets at lowest rate at moment its 1.25%

    The markets buy these bonds that mature at different times….at different rates.
    We all know what LIBOR fixing rates triggered and how many hefty fines were
    imposed for fixing.

    Banks not unlike politicians are the most distrusted people on the planet today.
    ..for the crazy lendings in 2008 meltdown.

    Any regulation on banking is as good on how it is enforced or enforceable.
    Whatever US initiative/regulation on international banking is introduced
    it must comply with laws on international banking….

    If my comments above needs elaboration or more explanation I will try to respond positively.
    Whatever USA decides to introduce in its international banking must comply
    with laws agreed on beforehand at banking summits. G5 G8 G? Summits.

    As for Hitlers domination/ambitions that’s all history now….and look how it all ended….Hitler may have lost the military/propaganda war but the Germans
    are winning the economic one. history rewritten.

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