Whither Canadian Diplomacy – Enabling Mining Companies or Land and Environment Defenders?
Negotiating under intense pressure is never recommended. We call for the immediate suspension of these talks to be re-started once all newly elected legislators are in place

he political and economic climate under which Canada, Mexico, and the United States started the process of NAFTA renegotiation in 2017 has deteriorated further in 2018. The U.S. is threatening tariffs for June1st and the White House bullies via tweets, while armed National Guards are being sent to the US border with Mexico, etc. These strong arm-tactics employed by the Trump administration have now culminated in an attempt to force an Agreement ‘in principle’, where, we are told, some sort of understandings have been reached on a few of the most difficult and contentious elements of NAFTA, but the texts remain secret.

We, the undersigned social organizations from all three North American countries, call on our respective governments to publish the texts from the handful of agreed to Chapters immediately, and to suspend the NAFTA renegotiations until a climate of mutual respect is reestablished and an open and public debate can be held in all three countries.

We completely reject the xenophobic and racist ideas that have accompanied the current NAFTA renegotiations. We reject the astoundingly bad idea of a wall between Mexico and the United States as well as the ridiculous notion that the Mexican government could be coerced into paying for it. We reject the constant threats, insults and blackmailing utilized by the White House against both Mexico and Canada.

Such an ‘Agreement in Principle’ is a poorly understood and little used manoeuvre in commercial agreements. What would be the legal ramifications to such an ‘Agreement in Principle’? For example: would it include general agreements on important areas without any prior notion of what could be the implications stemming from any concrete understandings already reached? Would the negotiations just continue on, but be more secretive than ever?

All three governments should step back from the often stated need for NAFTA renegotiations to be completed before the Mexican elections in July, and/or the U.S. midterms in November. Instead, our three governments should take the time to put together a solid game plan for building a just and fair trade arrangement that would ensure that in each country all sectors of society will be the beneficiaries.

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Endorsing Organizations:

  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Common Frontiers (coalition)
  • Council of Canadians
  • Council of Canadians – Northumberland Chapter Trade Group
  • Global Exchange
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  • Institute for Policy Studies
  • Mexico Better Without FTAs (coalition)
  • National Farmers Union (Canada)
  • OpenMedia