Trump’s Target in NAFTA Negotiations: Mexico

If there was any doubt, President Trump made it clear when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the White House: Mexico is his target during revisions to NAFTA, in the same way he focused during the 2016 campaign on a wall along the southern border and left Canada alone. Mexico is gearing up for talks to begin in May.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto initiated a 90-day internal review, a preliminary step, to prepare a position for renegotiation of the 1994 pact. The White House was less explicit about a time line for action or the mechanism. The three-nation trade agreement says “parties may agree on any modification or addition,” and Article 2205 allows a country to withdraw six months after giving notice.

“I don’t care if it’s a renovation of NAFTA or a brand-new NAFTA, but we do have to make it fair, and it’s very unfair to the American worker and very, very unfair to companies that do business in this country,” Trump said on Capitol Hill in early February.

Gary Hufbauer of the think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics says he expects Trump will “get rid of the NAFTA name and…