North American Free Trade Deal with EU Needed

June 19, 2013

Experts say a new trade agreement is needed to coordinate rules between the NAFTA countries and the European Union. At an economic conference in Montreal, Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States, said that American and Canadian efforts to secure free trade agreements with the EU should be continental agreements that include Mexico.

NAFTA is a free trade agreement that unites Canada, the United States and Mexico as partners. Sarukhan says that the three partners should work at free trade deals with Europe together instead of pursuing three separate treaties. He says that it doesn’t make sense not to work together. The former ambassador thinks that if the three North American partners fail to unite, we could expect disruptions in the supply chain. The aerospace and automotive industries could be impacted, he says, because both EU and NAFTA countries have operations on both continents. Aerospace manufacturing in Mexico is a sector showing strong growth.

Sarukhan thinks the idea of the United States and Canada pursuing trade deals with the EU in unison with Mexico might not at first be warmly received in Washington, but he says there is no philosophical opposition from the either country. There might be some concern that the inclusion of Mexico would slow down Washington’s current efforts to hammer out a deal with Brussels, but concerns are mostly about timing, not substantive disagreements, he says.

The US is concluding free trade negotiations with the EU and planning to launch the new treaty this summer. France is hampering negotiations somewhat by standing in the way of any deal with the U.S. that would damage the French film and broadcasting industry…



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