Did Canada get Trumped by Signing the US/Mexico/Canada Trade Agreement?

October 25, 2018 :: Dr. Chris Kukucha
Moderated by Martin Heavy Head

The last minute new trade agreement among Mexico, Canada and the United States, the so-called USMCA, made headlines in late September. But beneath those headlines, the difference the agreement could mean for those countries are likely to be minimal. The difficult negotiating issues – Canada’s dairy market/supply management, intellectual property, and the dispute settlement mechanism between member countries as well as investors - have been controversial since the inception of NAFTA in 1994 and even earlier

It’s not uncommon for politicians to rebrand existing trade deals, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that President Trump wanted to call the new agreement USMCA. While little has changed, it’s far more eye-catching to announce a brand-new agreement, rather than to work within the confines of existing agreements. Signing ceremonies and new acronyms stick in voters’ minds longer than simply tinkering with an agreement that already is in place—even if the new agreement only includes minor changes.

How will Canada’s dairy farmers and auto workers be affected by the new deal? Was dispute settlement and intellectual property protected? And could the agreement limit Canada’s ability to negotiate trade deal with other nations, for example China? The speaker will draw attention to what sets apart USMCA from NAFTA and speculate on the long term consequences of the agreement.

Speaker: Dr. Chris Kukucha

Christopher J. Kukucha is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Lethbridge. He is the author of The Provinces and Canadian Foreign Trade Policy and a co-editor of several books including The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy (Adam Chapnick), International Political Economy (Greg Anderson), and the third edition of Readings in Canadian Foreign Policy (Duane Bratt).

Chris also served as the William J. Fulbright Research Chair in Canadian Studies at the State University of New York (Plattsburgh) and is a past President of the International Studies Association of Canada.

Moderator: Martin Heavy Head

Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm
Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge
Cost: $14 buffet lunch with desert & coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

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