from Latin America's Moment and Latin America Studies Program

New Pieces on NAFTA, Mexico, and Venezuela

August 24, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, flanked by U.S. Chief Negotiator John Melle and U.S. General Counsel Stephen Vaughn, speaks at a news conference prior to the inaugural round of NAFTA renegotiations in Washington, D.C. August 16, 2017. Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters
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The first round of NAFTA negotiations now concluded, the three nations will take a two week breather before reconvening in Mexico City on September 1. While the policy differences should be surmountable, in Why NAFTA Needs More Than a Few Tweaks for Fortune, I argue that the biggest threat to NAFTA is Trump.

Thinking about the broader U.S.-Mexico relationship in the September/October 2017 issue of Foreign Affairs, The Mexican Standoff: Trump and the Art of the Workaround, I argue that despite the frequent animosity coming from the White House, Mexico has a historic opportunity to ambitiously lead its northern neighbor to a stronger North America. To do so, it needs to draw on the latent support from the farms, companies, and industries, as well as towns, cities, and states that benefit from these now indelible bilateral ties.

The other overriding foreign policy challenge in the hemisphere comes from the worsening economic, political, and humanitarian catastrophe in Venezuela. In this piece for CNN, Venezuelan Sanctions Without Diplomacy Will Fail, I argue that unilateral sanctions, much less the military action President Trump has intimated, will be counterproductive to U.S. goals of regime change. Only concerted diplomacy, uniting governments in the region and around the world, can pressure those in Caracas.

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