Their cheery collaboration is being deliberately portrayed as a counterpoint to the British public’s gloomy rejection of the European Union.In effect, the three NAFTA amigos are saying: Hey don’t worry overmuch about Britain and the EU. Global integration is going gangbusters. Look at us.If it were only that simple.
It's not that simple. Donald Trump is talking about getting out of NAFTA -- unless he gets his way:
In fact, NAFTA is on uncertain ground. In the U.S., presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has taken a hard line against it.On Tuesday, in an unusually coherent speech, he repeated his promise to either radically renegotiate NAFTA in America’s favour or have the U.S. withdraw from the pact.
And Canadians themselves are not that gung-ho on the deal:
In Canada, a poll this week found support for NAFTA is split, with roughly 25 per cent in favour, 25 per cent opposed and the remainder indifferent or unsure.No wonder. The addition of Mexico in 1994 to the original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement has helped manufacturers who locate in that country. But it hasn’t necessarily helped Canada.Cheaper Mexican wages have encouraged auto plants to build there — often at the expense of jobs in Canada. Even Toronto’s troubled new Bombardier streetcars are being built, in part, in Mexico.
Canada’s trade deficit with Mexico stands at about $10 billion.
What the Amigos should remember as they meet, writes Walkom, is that sometimes people get fed up. That's when they turn on you.