Trump’s long awaited wishlist for NAFTA has appeared.
See Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation
For NAFTA being “the worst trade deal ever”, there certainly aren’t a lot of specific problems being considered.
A few that interest me:
- “Establish rules to prevent governments from mandating the disclosure of computer source code.” — That looks like a serious security violation and possibly forbidding Free/Libre Open Source code.
- “Ensure standards of protection and enforcement that keep pace with technological developments, and in particular ensure that rightholders have the legal and technological means to control the use of their works through the Internet and other global communication media, and to prevent the unauthorized use of their works.” — DRM anyone? This looks either to be very vague and ineffectual or the thin edge of the wedge of a very intrusive Internet. “Ensure” could cover no end of evil surveillance, censorship and invasion of privacy. 1984 called and wants Freedom abolished, I think.
- “Require that SOEs not cause harm to another Party through provision of subsidies. — I could see lawyers getting rich over this one. Any business could claim some government corporation was subsidized and given unfair advantage after doing all the initial capital investment, creating the market and educating consumers like Manitoba Hydro did for hydro and wind and promoting EVs.”
- “Seek to eliminate non-tariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports including discriminatory barriers, restrictive administration of tariff rate quotas, other unjustified measures that unfairly limit access to markets for U.S. goods, such as cross subsidization, price discrimination, and price undercutting.” — This will be fun. Canadian farmers are split on the Canadian Wheat Board and united on milk and egg supply management. This is one where I think Trump might have my support. These days farmers can deal on the Internet so CWB could be replaced by a shipping company and I would like the price of milk products to be based somewhat on the cost of production instead of the speculative price of quotas traded like stock options… It’s silly but one cow’s worth of quota can cost several times as much as a cow and the price of milk is raised to cover this artificial “cost of doing business”. Both made sense at one time but with farming being a business now instead of a family subsistence, no longer.
I’m sure there are more hard nuts to crack in there but these are the ones that popped out on a quick read. They are not much like Trump’s campaign rhetoric so they might actually get somewhere. It’s pretty clear USA is not interested in abolishing NAFTA, just tweaking. Still, the Canadians and Mexicans will have to be careful not to give away the farm.