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2/6/17

Mexico, Canada, NAFTA, love and mining (from IKN403)

An extract from IKN403, out last night.




Mexico, Canada, NAFTA, love and mining

President Trump had already rescinded TPP in The USA, last week (among many other issues that are keeping the news channels full of conversation material) as expected he turned his attention to NAFTA, the agreement covering Canada, The USA and Mexico, and said he wants to re-negotiate it as soon as possible (and wants to add an F for “Fair” to the acronym to, bless him). On the back of Trump’s new plans, Canada was very quick to tell Mexico that it wasn’t going to be double-teaming with them against the new US position and that it would be looking out for number one (13):



Canada will focus on preserving its U.S. trade ties during talks to renegotiate NAFTA and may not be able to help Mexico avoid being targeted by the Trump administration, Canadian government sources say.

"We love our Mexican friends. But our national interests come first and the friendship comes second," a source said on the sidelines of a cabinet retreat in Calgary, Alberta.

"The two are not mutually exclusive," the source added.



Which sounds great, but it’s not as if Mexico is entirely toothless in any newly negotiated NAFTA (or NAFFTA) and as this op-ed in Mexico’s El Universo points out (14), such re-negotiation may open a veritable can of worms for the Canadian mining industry in Mexico. Here’s a translation of an excerpt from the article:



“Even if the objective of NAFTA was to create one of the largest free trade zones in the world and establish a base for strong economic growth and prosperity for Canada, The USA and Mexico, the reality is that this prosperity has only been for a select few. It’s clear that the bonanza and benefits of the mining industry have not been for communities and towns where the mines are located and that the extractive economic model has created different forms of wealth gaps and increased social conflicts even more, in an atmosphere that was already complicated.



“Due to this, it is imperative to retract the preferential deals offered to the mining industry (by Mexico) and foment new and alternative economic activities.”



...



“In Mexico, we also love our Canadian friends, but we reject the poor practices of its mining companies. Our national interests are first and friendship comes after.”



Be careful what you wish for up there, people.