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Part II Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements, Ch.8 North American Trade: NAFTA and US-Caused Global Trade Tensions

Robert Brookfield, Lori Di Pierdomenico

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law (2e) (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Daniel Bethlehem, Donald McRae, Rodney Neufeld, Isabelle Van Damme

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

On 16 August 2017, Canada, the United States, and Mexico officially launched the ‘re-negotiation’ of the NAFTA, which up until that point had presided over nearly a quarter century of North American trade. US President Trump made it clear that unless drastic changes were made to it, the US would withdraw from the NAFTA. In some respects, it had become clear that an agreement first implemented during the pre-digitalized age, and well-before issues like environment and labour standards were comprehensively addressed within FTAs, was badly in need of changes and modernization. Given its dissatisfaction with the agreement and other issues, the United States was engaging in the politics of breakdown in the rule of law to force change. Once the dust had settled and the new agreement in place, however, it was remarkable in that despite the ringing criticisms, it was clear the NAFTA was mostly left in place, but with a few key improvements, updates, and additions to signal a revised commitment of the Parties to North American trade.

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