Economy

Canada and Mexico Bring Their Own Demands to NAFTA Talks

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's still not entirely clear what the Trump regime hopes to extract from trade talks with Canada and Mexico, but we now have some idea what those countries would like to see.

Canadian officials are reportedly asking the United States to ban "right-to-work" laws because they give American companies an unfair advantage over Canadian companies that comply with higher standards.

Canadian negotiators are demanding the United States roll back so-called "right to work" laws – accused of gutting unions in some U.S. states by starving them of money – as part of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. The request is part of a push by Ottawa to get the U.S. and Mexico to adopt higher labour standards under the deal. [...]

One source familiar with the discussions said Canada wants the United States to pass a federal law stopping state governments from enacting right-to-work legislation; the source said the United States has not agreed to such a request. Canada believes that lower labour standards in the United States and Mexico, including right to work, give those countries an unfair advantage in attracting jobs.

After taking a moment to consider the full implications of this, I felt kind of embarrassed.

Out of all the different nations we trade with from North America to Eastern Asia, it's possible the United States may be the only one where labor laws and workers' rights have regressed. And, ordinarily, we'd be the country asking others to adopt higher labor standards, but in this case we are being asked to raise our standards.

For their part, Mexican officials want to enshrine their resurgent oil and gas industry into NAFTA so the next Mexican administration cannot nationalize it without breaking the trade agreement.

I don't expect either of these things will happen and I don't expect America will adopt higher labor standards anytime soon because, for the Trump regime, this isn't about making life better for Americans workers or even American corporations. This is about stupidity and prejudice.

It's not a coincidence that we don't really know what the Trump regime wants to gain from these talks. I don't think they know either. Trump says he may have to withdraw from the trade agreement if he doesn't get what he wants, but there's a 99 percent chance he couldn't tell you what he wants.

To be fair, I also can't sit here and tell you what certain factions of the Left want from these talks. That's never been explicitly spelled out. They may want to see the United States adopt higher labor standards, but that's definitely not something the Trump regime is pushing for.

  • muselet

    Bravo to the Canuckistanis, even if all they’re doing is (politely) trolling Donald Trump.

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    Why do I feel like the United States of America is going to end up like Atlantic City?
    This guy wouldn’t know how to make a good deal if his life depended on it. Unfortunately, ours do.

    • JMAshby

      Why do I feel like the United States of America is going to end up like Atlantic City?

      That is a very legitimate concern.

      • Badgerite

        I know. Our future as a hollowed out shell of what the US could have been with the right leadership. Casinoville, here we come.