tv Discussion Focuses on North American Trade Relations CSPAN February 24, 2017 8:43am-10:17am EST
let's look at the americas. we're fragmented. we're splintered. aside from nafta, there's, you name it. the pacific alliance. a lot of different things. but there isn't one americas. the crown jewel we do have is nafta. and i hope we also think about the role that our region plays as we are competing with other regions in the world. hemisphere, go to asia. that is a reality. and it becomes an economic reality and a national security
reality. and a massive shift of wealth from the east to the west. if we could get our act together regionally and build energy supply chains. we have the oil. we have the gas. and this is the time when we can be doing that. and the seventh largest economy in the world. the seventh largest economy in the world. our southern neighbor and canada will always be one of the most developed per capita income economies anywhere. the world has changed in 23 years. so the labor chapter, the
environmental chapter. look at rules of origin and think about nafta was signed before the internet took over the world, right? so think about the digital economy. online marketplaces. the cloud. the app economy. the internet of things. this is an area we can have, the u.s. can have a significant advantage. if we can get to a point where we can negotiate a better agreement where it's not a zero sum game. where one party wins and one party loses. that's not what trade is all about. it's about growing the market. i think the question that i would hope we're asking as we go into these talks whenever they start to happen. how do we make nafta stronger? for all three countries. and how does north america better compete with the rest of the world?
those are really the two strategic questions. everything else, i think, it's tactics. and politics. sort of appealing to the political circumstances in an individual countries. i think we should be working on bilateral agreements with mexico on immigration. bilateral agreements and trilateral agreements on border security. i had the opportunity to work with president sadio on a major study we did to come up with a bilateral agreement for low skilled workers from mexico. because right now, low skilled workers have to go to a black market. so we're essentially just outsourcing the labor that our companies need to a black market. why not negotiate some kind of a
an agreement? those are the things i think we should be focused on if we have the right attitude and not this idea we're going to win and lose or we're going to show them or put our foot down. we know from history and history looms large in our relationship with mexico that that's not going to work. so i want to thank all of you for your interest in this. i want to thank you for your leadership. i want to thank you for your commitment, but above all, i hope that we can be a voice of wisdom as this process starts because there's an awful lot at stake, not just for next year but 10, 20 years down the road. thank you very much for being here. it's a pleasure.
thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, very well done. >> thank you, secretary gutierrez, for taking the time to be with us today and secretary, for your important leadership on this topic at such a pivotal moment. thank you very much for your comments and your insights. and thank you all for joining us today for this incredibly timely and important discussion. i'm jason, the director of the adrian arts latin america center economic growth initiative and i'll cap this discussion today with the esteemed panelists. the timing couldn't be more on the mark as pier mentioned the
outset, rex tillerson and john kelly will arrive in mexico with an objective of trying to calm the waters. i'm sure we can guess what will be part of the topics in tomorrow's meetings. security, migration, the economy, border issues but of course, this will be against a backdrop where a once constructive relationship is now under threat. and politics, politics especially on both sides of the border now will be as important as policy or potentially more important in finding common ground. and it comes just over a week after prime minister trudeau came to washington, a visit that raised questions if one potential casualty of this new u.s. approach could be broader north american integration. that would, of course, be a huge loss from u.s. jobs lost to our strategic footing. intertwined with the three north american economies simply keeps us safer as well today and we
have an all-star panel to do so beginning on your right. peter, i've had the pleasure of working with the last few years and every good thing you've heard about peter is correct. he's one of canada's premier thought leaders who held an impressive number of posts in the canadian government including as serving the minister of defense and minister of foreign affairs for a year and a half. most recently, his attorney general and justice until 2014. baker toronto office a firm in which we've had the good fortune to collaborate on a number of different conferences. thank you for coming out for this. next to peter is paula stern, the founder and chairwoman of the stern group which she found in 1988. she's also truly a wealth of knowledge and i'm privileged to call paula a dear colleague as she serves on the atlanta council board of directors.
hard to find someone with both the expertise and experience of paula. she's one of my first calls on any trade-related matters. the international trade commission and trade commissioner for nine years, analyzing and voting on over 1,000 trade cases involving a broad range of industries and issues and next to me is rafael fernandez and also, syracuse's university of public affairs. you're really the ultimate expression of the strong u.s./mexico relationship. i have had the pleasure to know rafael, work with him a number of years. a prolific writer, having written and co-edited more than 30 books on u.s./mexico relations and u.s./latin america and mexico's foreign policy. definitely somebody who knows what he's talking about. rafael also foreign policy advisor to felipe calderone. here's what we'll do.
we'll spend the next half hour or so taking a deep dive on a number of different issues beginning with tomorrow's meetings in mexico and then moving on to north american linkages as a whole. the future of nafta short to long-term repercussions of today's environment and the path forward and we're going to leave plenty of time for questions from everybody joining us here today. a lot to cover and i've asked the panelists to keep the comments short and if they go long, i'll jump in to keep the conversation flowing because a lot of ground to cover. let's start off with tomorrow's visit, actually, both secretaries arrive in mexico city tonight. border security, law enforcement, trade will be at the forefront. they'll meet with president as well as secretaries of interior foreign relations, finance, and national defense. perhaps, peter, starting off with you. given the new relationship and i think president trump's personal
interest in driving this agenda, what do you think can be realistically accomplished at this point? >> well, firstly, i think i want to thank peter and yourself and the atlantic council for the invitation. i think firstly, it's been clear to us from a canadian perspective that the president's quite serious criticisms of nafta have been aimed undoubtably in the direction of mexico. the visit of president trump with trudeau here last week i think demonstrated that. that the word he used was tweak, not tweet. tweak. when it comes to the relationship. people jump when he tweets. with respect to this upcoming meeting, it's an opportunity to maybe step back and the u.s. officials, tillerson and kelly who were going have an opportunity to hone in on the
the legitimate concerns around security. and i think if they go back to the basics of the security as being perhaps the primary concern that's been expressed by this administration. that may allow them to, i dare say, rethink some of the rhetoric, particularly, around the wall and i fully expect we'll have a discussion on the wall. and at the same time, i think it will allow mexican counterparts to make a very strong case for the continuation of this unprecedented relationship here in north america. how integral it is to the success of all of our countries from an economic perspective, but from an overall quality of life perspective. let's go back to basics here. to make america great again, you have to make nafta great again.
so i agree with many of the comments, all of the comments, frankly, of secretary who spoke the need to modernize this agreement. so i think this opening in this visit tomorrow is a tremendous opportunity to recast what has perhaps been a wrong footed approach and go back to the basics of security, improving some of the concerns that do exist in an agreement that is 23 years old when it comes to nafta. and not retrench or double down on some of the rhetoric, but really, hone in on just how important nafta is and i know that that was part of the approach that prime minister trudeau took last week here this washington. >> paul, on the trade front. obviously, secretary is not part of these discussions tomorrow. so what, and trade, in addition
to the wall and border issues and law enforcement cooperation is obviously front and center. what do you see being realistically accomplished tomorrow on that level whether it's behind the scenes? what do you see as far as the potentially public statements that could come out? obviously taking into account the folks traveling from the u.s. side are homeland security secretary and our secretary of state? >> well, i'm glad you asked about trade. because we heard about one elephant in the room which was immigration in the opening statement, but i really think the elephant in the room is trade. maybe there's two elephants here, but at least. >> it's a big room. >> the fact is the president of the united states of america ran successfully on a trade agenda. he said two things that he wanted to get done. one, he wanted to reduce the trade deficits and the second,
he wanted to throw out those, quote, dumb agreements that were made by, quote, stupid officials. and nafta was numero uno on the list. and said on day one, he would move against both the nafta and the tpp, the transpacific partnership agreement which had not yet been ratified by congress but had been negotiated. thousand, now, he did that with the tpp and with nafta, it's clear, he had discussions already with the mexican president. those phone calls and personal conversations went badly. and i think that mission of the two secretaries from the united states who were going there,
tillerson and kelly is to try to smooth and deal with the backlash, the naturalistic backlash which is making president nieto's position even more difficult to negotiate a new nafta. so it's one to just kind of smooth down and the other thing i would like our secretaries to do in this visit is to put the trade issue in a context and i think we should do that here as a matter of fact as well. as thinking folks. trade agreepts aments are a subf
trade policy. they're microeconomics. what drives the trade deficits. what drives the destruction that comes from competition globalization, technological change which has affected our voters and disaffected our voters and made them anxious is all these other matters that are both macroeconomic as well as technological. so we need to put this nafta agreement which is old and needs fixing into a proper context. economically, otherwise, we are, as a nation and with our neighbors, canada and mexico, we'll find ourselves in an impoverished reduced state, lowered growth and lowered productivity and we will not be gaining on the competition with the rest of the world that we had enjoyed. >> you make an excellent point
of what could be accomplished by tillerson and kelly specifically with regard to trade and one is smoothing over the nationalistic backlash and secretary gutierrez said you can't humiliate a country to the bargaining table and underestimate national pride in mexico. and also, important to emphasize, these are two men who know mexico very well. who have deep relationships with the mexican government from secretary tillerson's time and the head of u.s. southern command and these are also strategic agreement. one, not necessarily the israeli economy and rafael, paula mentioned the political environment that exists right now. the political environment that secretary tillerson and kelly will see when they arrive in mexico city tonight.
if you could compare the political tenor between two countries right now to a past moment in this relationship, what would that be and is there a his for ka precedent for the point in which the relationship is right now? >> let me start by saying something about my recollection of newly appointed secretaries in the u.s. i remember vividly working for calderone and janet napolitano, homeland security came. and came to mexico. the meetings went very well and they were key for the good communication between them and our foreign minister and also with president calderone. the visit of hillary clinton was amazing. she came very well prepared. president calderone was
prepared. and the meeting solved an important issue. met an initiative. we were getting black hawk helicopters for the mexican military and coming with those on the 14th, president was leaving with us. and thanks to hillary, the comecome helicopters came. these early trips help to understand the complexity. maybe that mexico needs is that we're the friend. we're the ally. we're not the enemy. the complexities of the relationship with mexico. i would say i never thought that in my lifetime, i'm seeing what i'm seeing. trump has been amazing. he has created the perfect consensus in mexico from the far right to the far left. we all hate mr. trump.
he made mexico a political pin ya that. migrants, called them things. so i would say, and if you want to draw comparison, i would say, i would compare him to ambassador wilson in 2011. this is in the popular image in mexico. he plot against the mexican revolution and the assassination of francisco. i would say, we compare him with president who sent the u.s. troops to invade mexico in 1846. i have never seen this consensus in mexico. mexicans are rallying around the flag. and yes, two politicians that have been defeated of trump, of course, and monroe. he's seven or eight points.
and hard to trust and i would say, president nieto has received a push wide because trump is the public enemy. not only that, but nieto has once again a sense of purpose. he has given the u.s./mexico relationship a sense of urgency and made an important change in his cabinet and he's focused. once he has focus, doing purpose, doing fairly well. this is the end. we're in the 5 year of his administration. the political times are coming to mexico but i would say that nieto, they have benefitted a lot from the way mexicans hate mr. trump. >> perhaps knowingly at least a variety of folks who don't know, it's a cabinet for the mexican
presidential election which will occur in mid 2018. pierre, you want to jump in there? >> i want to underscore that throughout the history of north america, there have been other polarizing figures. let's be honest. this may be a new standard, but personal relationships in politics matter, maybe in the extreme. i recall early days in my tenure as foreign minister, meetings with p.atricia espinoza and thee have always been issues. trade issues, lumber and similarly with mexico. but the ability to sit down and have an open, honest discourse, develop trust among ministers. not only from the very top but
line departments. u.s. governors. mexican governors. premiers in nova scotia. chambers of commerce. those matter as well. so i don't think at this early stage, we should sound too much alarmed. yes, there has to be pushback and yes, the early signals and the list of priorities that president trump put out there, particularly around trade are cause for alarm. but i think you're going to see in the coppiming days and tomor may be a good example of how these ministers make a connection with their opposite number and allow people a little breathing room to step back from some of these positions because in my estimation, we have to move away from the personal and back to the practical about what is going to pull the economy forward collectively in north america because of the tremendous competition that we
will face from asia pacific and other parts of the world. we had seen, you know, events like brexit that have also caused tremendous discord and future elections in the european union pose that threat as well. but teresa may's visit with president trump is an example of a relationship that could be rekindled in terms of the u.s. great britain relationship. and worth mentioning the united kingdom as they extricate themselves from the european union with brexit, there's a lot of unknowns but a possibility to renew and perhaps establish trade relationships with great britain for mexico, canada, and the united states. so from every situation comes opportunity. ve >> very well said. good by the trade minister. they went to canada and great
news. apparently, the canadian foreign minister said we will go trilaterally. very well received in mexico. >> that's important, paul. i want to go to you on the importance of the north american integrative market but a quick thought on prime minister trudeau's visit last week. there was a lot of concern after that visit about where relations, a lack of kind of reinforcement of the importance of north america as a whole and then the freelance statement about you were showing that nafta negotiations must take separately and the importance of nafta. so we're seeing different signals from the canadian side. >> that's right. there was tremendous anxiety in the early days of this presidency. this visit was watched very closely. our prime minister removed with
his arms and legs in tact. there was a lot of rhetoric about this being bambi meets godzilla. it didn't happen. it worked out okay. there was a collective sigh of relief. however, there were signals still about nafta that were there, that was expressions of concern around the boarder. we'll deal with them over time and that's the reality. we have to get down to the hard facts, the tremendous advantages that can be laid out in very specific terms of this agreement and modernizations around things like dispute, rules of origin. those things can be and should be dealt with because of the many changes that have happened since this agreement took place. >> the value integration that occurred in north america as a result of nafta has, not discussed as much but allowed
global exports to be more economically competitive. so one of the risks to the united states if we break this up, what does this mean for china and for china's position in the world with a less competitive unified north america? >> well, the integration which has occurred and accelerated, facilitated by the nafta really started with u.s./canada on the auto agreements. >> that's right. >> which then became a u.s./canada agreement more generally, but autos had dominated, i think, also, the nafta considerations. once the u.s., canada, and then mexico got into the final nafta and what we've seen is a dramatic shift in which the automobile industry in this country which was being battered, if you will by
japanese competition, was able to steady itself, engaged not only using the nafta rules, but were during the same period, saw the increase in technology which allowed the supply chains to span the borders, very, very quickly. there's no question that technology has had an enormous disruptive effect on manufacturing jobs. in the united states, i presume canada has certainly felt a similar situation, but we in the united states, our manufacturing production is higher than it has ever been, but the number of
manufacturing jobs is the lowest since the end of world war ii. so what you've seen is a shift and the shift also was occurring in mexico and so you saw mexi n mexicans who had been eking out of living agriculturally on small plots being attracted to a new factories that were being invested in mexico. so that the combination of the technology, the combination of lower wages in mexico for these factory jobs saw the capability of both the auto industry and other manufacturers to compete with the the tigers of asia, japan, south korea, taiwan, and
et cetera. so that has been, i think, a tremendous north american success is. meanwhile, agriculturally, and agriculture, in the united states, enjoys great surplus. we export around the world but in particular, vis-a-vis mexico. and that is being, if you will, jeopardized by the future of whether we will have a nafta agreement that all three nations can agree to. so we've seen, you know, shifts that are both technological as well as by these nafta agreements. >> and it's lifted millions of people out of poverty.
let's be tranfrank. paul is absolutely right. there are canadian auto part manufacturers now operating many medical examin in mexico successfully. and others may speak to this more authoritatively than i but it's improved labor standards across the board. it had a big impact in terms of bringing people into a more modern, more lucrative quality of life in terms of how they can employ themselves, feed their families and contribute to their communities. >> meanwhile, we did not deal here at home in the united states adequately with the disruption and the acceleration of the disruption that comes about through the technological. >> go ahead. >> i would say that nafta had a lot of spillovers into mexico, into the relationship and the united states, one of those was environmental norms because of nafta, mexico started to really
implement the environmental loss and it has helped mexico a lot. so it's not only about trade and jobs, but also, it's about, for example, diplomacy and for mexico, it was nafta. played the washington game because of nafta. moved the embassy from the 16th street and now, we have a very nice cultural institute to pennsylvania avenue. to signify we're close to the white house, we're here to affect the decisions and all of that is at stake now with mr. trump. >> one of the big challenges on nafta is the 14 million americans whose job depends on nafta, most probably don't realize it or the 5 million that depend on u.s./mexico trade because of the integrated nature of supply chains that at any time, disruption could have a severe consequence and people
don't necessary realize it. >> if i could just add to that. it's not just making this stuff but delivering this and servicing. >> the railroads. >> so it is, the services as well as manufacturing which also go into this whole component of a healthy north american economy. >> i want to get beyond economics, but i want to, before we do that. in the interest of time, just drill down a little bit more on nafta and in the current environment, secretary gutierrez mentioned about not being able to humiliate a country to the negotiating table. the national pride that has now been unleashed in mexico as a result of discussions. what could be some of the points forward for modernizing nafta? especially in this current political context.
>> yes. i think the political context is about jobs, and as long as we can see that even though there is increased productivity that comes about and as long as we have a system in place for helping those who were inevitably disrupted by change, i think it can be a win. but the problem, as i said, i think we've really neglected that. we haven't talked about human capital. we haven't. and so what trump really managed to tap into was this neglect. and i haven't seen, by the way, however, the president talk about this. and i think that no matter what he negotiated, whatever the terms of a new nafta might be,
he has got to wrap it into an adjustment plan for retraining, community colleges, digital literacy. all the kinds of preparation which his voters and nation as a whole need. and that's the case in any country, but we are, if you will, been the leader and we are setting the pace now. this is what trump has put as his number one issue to negotiate these trade agreements. i happen to believe that you could take this old 23-year-old agreement and really pull out the things which were way too controversial from the tpp negotiations and really see that tpp in those seven years where 12 nations negotiated, dominated, if you will, economically, by canada and the
u.s. together and mexico making up, if you will, at least a third of the tpp countries. and they were able to agree on through rules on environment, new rules on labor. they were able to agree on new resum rules that had not even existed with regard to services, intellectual rproperty, digital trade. all kinds of matters that had not even been in our minds or adequately politically jelled in our systems a quarter century ago. so i think the president frankly could make lemonade out of lemons and quickly borrow where you would see an agreement between the three nations. and really come out and say, i have thought of the future. i'm not just thinking about
voters who were disrupted because of the productivity that put them out of business. >> he couldn't say any of this came from the tpp in negotiations themselves but borrowing a lot of the. peter, let me ask you a question about canada. just before that, i mean, the tpp negotiations that were prolonged, protracted, similarly, canada embarked on a conference of economic trade agreement. a long process, nine years in its final format. what that tells you though is a very important often unspoken truth and that is in all of our countries, mexico included, we have some very capable professional publicer er iservo have their "a" game and that hes in the real, mature, not fake news discussion about trade. and, you know, i think that's going to be very important. you can't negotiate these things
in 147 characters. >> 140. >> or 140. maybe with the exchange in canada, it's different. what i'm saying is that we have some really, really capable people other than just the political figures who will be involved in these discussions. i have a lot of confidence spending time in government in those individuals who are engaged, who are serious, who are doing a lot of the the heavy li lifting frankly out of the glare of the public eye and i think when we get back to all of these important elements and considerations, we're going to be able to make those improvements. >> you're right that the mexican team has a lot of experience. some of them, the secretary for 25 years. he was a nafta negotiator so he has lots of experience. then he went into politics, so now he's a seasoned politician as well as very good negotiator and of course, they were
negotiating tpp. canada and mexico. tpp. sometimes, to balance the u.s. power, so it seems to me that's why to remain trilateral would be so important. >> i think it's so important and therefore, canada plays an incredibly important role here. >> it's pivotal. >> pivotal because this will set, you know, the stage for the next 25 years or 50 years of what is our trade architecture. our trade architecturarchitectu the end of world war ii was to make winds and to increase the economic pie, if you will, by reducing the barriers at the border, very briefly. but canada is so important and played such an important role.
i think of silvia that had led the charge for so many years intellectually in canada to ensure that canada was part of the quad. what was the quad? u.s., japan, europe, and canada that pushed, if you will, many of the rules of the road, commercial rules of the road at the world trade organization and its predecessor, the gat. those rules of the road had brought us to the kind of economic level that we have had today. but again, i want to emphasize that it's not enough. we, each of our nations have to worry about those who were disrupted by this turbo charged economic system that we are in, new business models, new digital world, but on the trade side and that's why i say it's just microeconomics and it's just
really smart negotiators, but it's essential. but it's not enough. >> trade architecture is there. so the skeleton is there. very strong bones are there. >> yes. >> some of the same individuals, we've seen our former prime minister emerge prominently around nato. he attended the meeting idea and via mexican foreign secretary and spoke positively. said difficult negotiations as they were in the beginning and i do come back to a difficult often referred to expression about security trumping trade and that's taken on a whole new meaning. but canada has this existing relationship, our nato relationship, our g-7 relationship with the united states of america, but we also have tremendous ties with mexico that go back decades as well. you mentioned the auto pack. this is a relationship that it has been cultivated.
it has ebbed and flowed, but i put a lot of faith in the leadership as well as the professional publicer is van es not just nafta but the acid rain tree that would not have happened if not for ronald reagan and ryan muni. >> i want to get back to nafta, the canadian perspective. there's a lot of folks in this room familiar with what the trump administration wants out of nafta. the potential modifications, but from the canadian side as well, when nafta is open to be modernized, there's a number of things in agreement that are not serving canada's interest as well and canada coming to fight for changes. what are some of those? >> one of them, i suspect, will be access to some of the infrastructure projects that are going to be presented. i mean, this is yet to be really unpacked in terms of how that
will impact the american economy but there seems to be a lot of indications that there will be restrictions placed on mexican and canadian participation and infrastructure building. they need, they're going to need labor and canadian soft wood lumber and other parts of building the infrastructure that president trump has spoken to. let's not forget that he's a businessman, a contractor. i think he owns a golf course. he's going, i think. >> one or two at least. >> quickly come to the realization that you can't go it alone and the enormity of the type of infrastructure he's speaking about. the dispute resolution mechanism has also been contentious. we've seen it break down over the 30 years in the canada/u.s. relationship. but i guess putting on my justice hat for a moment, it strikes me that pulling back from the independent dispute
resolution mechanism that's entrenched in nafta and going to the american courts may not be the best idea. you have to be careful what you ask for, as we've seen in recent decisions coming from your courts. so the independent arms length dispute resolution mechanism has worked well overall. changing the rules of the game significantly at this point is where we'll get bogged down. if it's tweaking, unitinpdating modernizing, currency ma thiplatithi manipulation, those things. >> nafta, with incredible amount of intelligence sharing, cooperation at the u.s./mexico border as well as the mexico/guatemala border. el chapo was extradited a week before president trump took office.
a huge amount of cooperation at the agency level with mayors, whatnot. what are what mexico could play to hold position vis-a-vis the united states with regard to the nafta discussions? >> i would say very important is the strategic one is i would say the northern triangle of north america. honduras. it's become the syria of america. the lack of economic opportunity is like syria. so i believe that mexico is the essential partner of the u.s. to try to control that problem and to improve central america, especially the northern triangle. let's put it this way. others, by the way, the last two years, what we call the opms, there's more trying to come into
the u.s. through the mexican border than mexicans. so the flow of central america is now larger than the mexicans and we could disclose, why is that, but so far, central america is trying to come to the u.s. mexico is the 14-5. and u.s. is 14-3 and two are making into the u.s. strategically, i mean, i don't see a way for the u.s. coming and try to improve conditions in central america without mexico. so again. and then i will say economically speaking, i will say especially the four border states, new mexico, texas, arizona, it's mexico. four states have made 25% of the u.s. economy. california is huge. so i don't see those four states without nafta. it seems to me that the border
states will come to mexico. i believe time is on behalf, i mean, it will help mexico because allies will come out. that's how we see it. and so far, the narrative is that we will be able to see nafta and know is going to take time. and we have the canada that in the 1980s and 1990s was a champion of globalization. because of canada, we have annexation close to getting the countries and no one came but there's there and canada was a champion and now, sorry, but i mean, we have also stephen harper. i don't see he was a champion of globalization. he imposed the visas on mexican nationals and in the midst of
the h1n1 crisis. by the way, that was a north american crisis because the number of people having h1n1 was, i mean, very alarming, not only in mexico but entire north america. the y if you look at the map and cities with more than 500 people infected, you'll see that north america was all of red. so why was that? because of the connectivity between canada, the u.s., and mexico. so the connectivity is there and some conservative people in canada. there's people that prefer the bilateral way and that's shortsighted because we have a lot. only 40 regional agreements. now, it's only 300. so now basic trading speaking, so is north america could be very strong if the three remain there but we don't know just
yet. stieps anythi sometimes negative about canada because i know there's a lot at stake with canada but i believe we have a lot to gain. canada and mexico especially with will trump. if . >> you mentioned the four border states that support over a million u.s. jobs with the ties and the latin america center, we've been in the hids midst of number of why mexico and social media tiles and one you saw before today's event not only the four border states but over 30 states that have mexico as a number one or number two trade partner. >> and i think you should put agriculture. >> yes. that's my question. >> oh, okay. >> question for you and then open it up to questions from the audience, please start taking questions. i want to make sure that we have time to address the number of questions out there. but my question to you is on
industries in the united states. what would be some of the industries in the united states that would suffer greatest from any type of, not only breaking apart of nafta or moving toward bilateral with mexico, how would this -- you mentioned agricultu agriculture, what are some areas that would be most severely affected, the american workers most severely affected. >> two different things. i really want to emphasize that when it comes to manufacturing, the numbers of jobs in a successfully global sector will be reduced. we will see robots where there might have been people before. so you will increase and see increasing production and shipments and exports, but you may not see the increase in jobs in those particular situations.
electronics. we see it every day with televisions, flat panel displays, the assembly of every -- electronic factories that are assembling and doing value added as well in mexico. but often, with the semiconductors and the very high value added input that maybe reflective of american u.s. values, i should say, value added, coming across the border, not just once, but two or three different times before you finally see the assembled product. and so, you know, if you disrupt that, i think we basically, as a continent, as a continental
economy, will lose to competition in asia. and i think that's across the board. and as far as the agricultural goods, we heard from already the texas cattleman. you said if you wait long enough, rafael, you'll start to see others who will push back. you're already hearing texas cattleman, who were basically got their -- their -- some of their cattle on the other side of the border, and moving back and forth and coming back as sta steaks and likewise, of course, corn, and we're seeing the threat to our agricultural sectors here in the united states, and the representatives speaking out and speaking up now, concerned that mexico is indeed shopping in argentina, brazil, elsewhere. >> it is for the -- >> corn that had been really responsible for much of our
exports and our export numbers. so they are not many jobs, again, particularly in the agricultural area. but i don't think we can afford to shoot ourselves in the foot if you will by unwinding all of the progress that we have made. yes, it needs to be done to deal with the anxiety, but it is -- and yes, we can upgrade the trade agreement. but we should -- i feel, be seeing this as an opportunity to expand and not come back with a fallback position that will -- >> i want to give you a quick word and then open it up to questions from the audience. >> that's why the talk of border tax now is unhelpful. and but that's not to say that the u.s. congress and senate aren't going to have a lot to say about these negotiations as
they come to -- >> they're entitled. >> absolutely. and the pillars of the checks and balances in your country are very strong. one of the areas we haven't touched on that i think will figure prominently is energy. and talk of pipelines. this affects all three countries in north america. being energy independent in america is one thing. being north american energy independent in my view should be the goal. and the way to achieve that is closer cooperation, that also includes closer cooperation around climate change, around the environment, around emission standards, because, you know, we have yet to see what the president is going to do, with the paris climate change accord. it is a pretty clear signal that is coming already that there is a backing away from that as we saw with kyoto. that's problematic. because if we're not holding to account china, pakistan, india, ourselves, we're whistling past
the graveyard on some important environmental issues. we got to be working together on that. going it alone in that area is disaster. >> and on energy, energy, u.s. energy exports to mexico could of themselve erase the trade deficit we have with mexico if we leave things alone. i'm going stop the panel for a moment, i want to make sure we have questions from the audience here. >> good. >> i'm sure we have many. there will be microphones circulating. i see diana -- if you could introduce your name and your question. and i'm going to take three questions together. first question here in the second row, roberta. >> thank you very much. if the problem is -- i'm diana negraponte from the woodrow wilson center. if the key political problem is jobs, is there within the nafta the capacity to raise additional
revenues to invest in the skills retraining which we need to meet the new economy? >> great, thank you. i'm going to take a couple of questions together because there are many questions. i see the next hand, the middle of the third row, to you, sir, in the tenth row on that side. >> hey. brett fort with inside u.s. trade. how will the idea of renegotiating nafta bilaterally would separate negotiations between canada and mexico, how will that impact how that renegotiation is going to happen? is that a realistic way to do so? how could you deal with issues such as rules in that fashion? and there is also a lot of talk about other issues cropping up the border, just tax, immigration, is it possible that those other areas kind of poisoned the well in terms of
this renegotiation that they overshadow any possible update on nafta? >> okay, thanks. last question, all the way back in the right side of the middle? >> hi. kirk sure with clear view strategy group. i would like to ask the flip side of the question that diana asked and that is from the mexican point of view, there is a lot of concern that wage growth over the past 20 years hasn't been adequate, so the flip side of the jobs equation there is lack of wage growth. how would a renegotiation address that? >> okay. thanks, kirk. let me start off with paula, would you like to -- a question, is there a capacity in nafta for -- of -- for funding for greater worker capacity building. the question on the impact of a -- bilateral, the multilateral, and could there be other issues that cloud this
discussion, and kirk's question about the lack of wage growth in mexico and how that is part of the discussions. start with you, paula. >> you are right to put this together. the need to deal with the adjustment that comes from trade, there has never been, if you will, a tax or -- that has been kind of put aside. talk about the wall and how the wall that president trump wants to build, he has suggested that with a 35% tariff on mexico's goods, that he could pay for the wall, if you will. but that means you're taking money out of the american
consumers pocket, when you take it out that way in a tariff. so what your challenge is is to the congress and to the president, when it comes to allocating funds for this -- and there are many excellent proposals that academics have made that deal with both wage insurance, or various ways of assisting those who were impacted, not only by changes from trade, but changes from technology. but congress has never shown a willingness to allocate that -- those kinds of funds. and as you know, we as a nation compared to other industrialized nations basically think that, you know, the individual should deal with these disruptions and i happen to believe that that's a -- that has brought about the
toxic situation that we saw in this last election, and i think that that bigger competitiveness agenda, the bigger bargain, is something which i think you have to turn back to president trump and ask now, what are you going to do in addition to just going back to a trade negotiation. and but you got to remember that the -- the role of the consumer here, when it comes to allocating -- allocating a new tax or a new tariff for this. >> peter, the question on the impact of bilaterals and rafael, wage growth in mexico. >> very briefly too, to the question about skills training, job training, i don't believe in the reading of the original canada, u.s. and broaden it out to nafta in '93 that it did really envision the impact of
technology, and that sector. not only in automation, but just the number of jobs. and as the secretary said, this is an area of modernization, i think, should happen and will happen in the negotiation. thank you, by the way, the woodrow wilson institute does remarkable work on these exact issues and has been a great friend to canada. on the negotiation, the signal that came very clearly from foreign minister christie freeland yesterday was that we will not throw mexico under the bus. this is not a go it alone bilateral. however, having made that declaration, a lot will depend, of course, on the signals from the white house. it is easy to make that declaratory statement, the concern will be the propensity of the president to prefer a stated preference is bilateral type relations in trade negotiations. and, you know, going back to square one, he wants to win. he wants america to come out with at least 51% better than
whoever he's negotiating with. and so if that's -- if that means starting way over here and making quite extreme statements to get back to middle ground, that's a negotiating tactic. that's not new. but it is certainly part of the president's personality, if i can say that, and he's going to negotiate hard. canada, mexico are going to have to come to the table with clearly enunciated positions, well articulated, well backed up with facts, and let the negotiating begin. >> let me say two things. first of all, there is an american consensus in mexico -- that if trump were to denounce nafta, it would not be the end of the world for mefl kxico. why is that? we have the wto. and tariffs would raise between 2% and 3%, mostly 2%. it is not the end of the world. >> except on small trucks. >> small trucks, there is, it
cuts both ways. then the u.s. auto industry will have it tough. ford, general motors, they would -- out of business. so that's one. second, you're right. i mean, the gap between mexican salaries and u.s. salaries hasn't been rich, hasn't been close in the last 20 years. nafta hasn't done much. but if you take another industry, the human development index, you'll see mexico is really reaching the gap between the u.s. in the last 20 years. why is that? well, because education has increased a lot in mexico. and also helped. now, about 95 million mexicans are covered, but very low, but important, help insurance. so this -- so this is a new mexico, and also because of that, you'll see it, there has been a lot of mexicans coming back, some of them willingly
because of the persona, some of them because if you don't have help here, if you don't have the location services here, they better go back to mexico. so that helps to explain why in the last seven years there has been zero net migration of mexicans into the u.s. and you're right, the good thing about renegotiating nafta is that now we have to have a labor agreement within nafta and then we really could talk about salaries. there is a new consensus in mexico, the mayor of mexico city, he -- he's been talking about raising the minimal wage in mexico city, getting somewhere. i would say now you're listening about this from every single political side. you finally listen, the treasurer minister of mexico, talking about this, and we all know we have to bridge that gap
between mexico and the u.s. we compare the salaries between the auto industry, here in the u.s., about $20 per hour, and mexico, $2 per hour. we know that's not fair. we have to change that. but, then, we believe that we have to nafta and could see this as an opportunity for updating that. >> i would also say too that nafta helped to lift the boats of all mexicans. there is still, of course, there is wage disparity given the nature of the two economies and just the dramatic difference from the get-go, right? we have to realize that our relationship with mexico is not a zero sum gain. lifting the votes of mexicans helps america. that's important to take into account, piece coming out in the national review talks about mexican education, more
engineers graduating in mexico than you do in germany. there is significant educational advantages, significant advances in technology. we did a report at the latin america center last year on innovation in mexico. lots of interesting things are happening. we have four more minutes. want to end on time. so i'm going to take two more questions. i saw in the middle, simon, middle way, and then sir, your question, in the third row. we'll take those quickly. >> thank you. simon whisker from control risks. question, so what is achievable? what is genuinely arefugeeabcha terms of negotiations? you can't -- we focus on nafta, the two are going to be intwined. i ask that in the context of the political objectives, specifically of both u.s. and mexico of any negotiations, and
also the time frames available. we talked about amlo a little bit, but the campaign in mexico starts in earnest very, very soon. so that's going to have a huge impact on the way mexico approaches the negotiations. what is genuinely achievable as a result of that? >> sir, in the third row. >> hi, rafael from the hill. i'll make this quick. mexico opened consultations on nafta. is this jumping the gun or is this getting a head start? >> great. rafael, i'll start with you. keep your response to about 30 seconds. >> i would like to say that the mexican negotiators now, they have -- they are under a lot of pressure. this is a sharp difference from the 1990s when we negotiated nafta. then we have a unique -- an assistant. now the senate is very much --
mexican senator with other senators, he put a bill in the senate about substituting the u.s. -- the corn we import from the u.s. that is really -- of senator chuck grassley and he said we have to be careful with mexico. so, again, i mean, there is ways for mexico to proceed. and the important thing that there is the consensus we can lead without nafta. hopefully that's not the case. but if this is a negotiating decision of mr. trump, seems to mexico has a good response. we can leave and survive. >> paula, what is achievable in terms of nafta? >> i think the fact is that a president trump taught us that, again, you know, that he or she
who shapes the debate, wins the debate. and he made this election about trade, and now he's making this discussion here today about a trade agreement. and i believe that with enough people in place, civil servants and skilled people, that we can see -- as i said earlier, lemonade out of lemons. but i think we -- the president is not -- is going to increasingly have to hear from members of congress, who in turn are hearing from their constituents how they are being impacted, and for the first time, in a long time, the ceos have become incredibly outspoken about immigration, on this h 1 b
visa stuff, the tech companies and financial companies, we have to see the same ceos start talking as long with the agricultural multinationals about what this can mean if we do not get a successful -- >> the business community has been relatively silent to this point. >> i'll give you the last word. >> a world without nafta is a much more difficult world for all three countries. i agree with the fact that, you know, all three countries are going to go into the negotiations with their own very specific issues, and on some things, we may have to part company. but that doesn't undermine the fact that the overall agreement can be improved. security is inseparable. immigration will be inseparable. labor mobility. this is why canada has a much more diverse fide trade relationship. under stephen harper, we negotiated 30 some trade
agreements, including seta which allows a company of 37 million people to have access to a 500 million person european union economy. that's not to suggest we can go it alone. but it is to suggest that you need to diversify your trade relations. that's what mexico is doing as well. tpp, while dead for the united states, is not dead for canada. so our trade relationships that can factor into this as well. including bringing the uk into a north american trade relationship. >> i want to end by -- i want to thank my colleagues in the latin america center who put this event together and andrea murta, our deputy director, our team -- our events team at the atlantic council and secretary gutierrez for his inciteful remarks and, again, secretary for your leadership on these issues, my colleague peter schechter opened the event and, of course, this incredibly esteemed all-star panel. thank you for joining us today. we will, as peter said at the
outset, this is an issue incredibly important for the atlantic council and the latin american center and we'll continue to have events and publications and other types of social media awareness about the importance of the mexico relationship and north america overall. thank you for being with us today. the conservative political action conference called cpac will continue today on c-span with remarks from president trump expected to begin shortly. and then later, nra executive vice president wayne lapierre. he tweeted out this week that the nra is going to lead what he called the counterresistance on
behalf of the trump administration. former republican presidential candidate carly fiorina will also address that conference. live coverage today begins at 12:55 eastern on c-span. and then tomorrow, democrats elect a new dnc party chair. saturday at the party's winter meeting in atlanta, georgia. watch that live tomorrow beginning at 10:00 eastern, also on c-span. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday morning at 9:30 eastern, we're live from the library of virginia in richmond for an all day symposium on civil war monuments, the history of their construction in the north and the south, and how public perception of confederate monuments has changed. then at 8:00, on lectures in history, hampton sydney college professor john coons on how the rise of tobacco consolidated the power of wealthy virginia planters and london merchants in the 17th century. >> instead of just accepting the price that this random ship
captain might have to offer me, i'm going to send the tobacco over to england on my own account and pay a commission to someone to mark et it there for me. this developing consignment trade ties larger planters of virginia and maryland to these english merchants. most of them in london. >> sunday at noon, on oral histories, we continue with our series of interviews with prominent african-american women, from the explorations in black leadership oral history collection. dorothy height served as president of the national council of negro women, from 1957 to 1998 and received the presidential medal of freedom and congressional gold medal. >> i grew up and even in my religious experience, working with people of different religious backgrounds, was a feeling of the importance of openness and how much each one contributes to the other, that there is no superior, no
inferior. >> and at 8:00, on the presidency, historian catherine clinton talks about what happened to president lincoln's family after his assassination. >> the morning of may 19th, convinced his mother might do herself harm and prodded by a team of medical and legal experts, robert lincoln filed an affidavit to have his mother tried on charges of mental incompetence, could be held against her will due to, quote, insanity. >> for our complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. coming up next, a c confirmation hearing for sima verma. she talks about prescription drug prices, health kerouac cc e care accessibility. senator orrin hatch chairs the senate finance committee, while senator ron wyden serves as ranking member.
>> the committee will come to order. i'd like to welcome everyone to the -- this morning's hearing. today we consider the nomination of sima vermia to serve as administrator for the centers for medicaid and medicare services. welcome. we're so happy to have you here and your family as well. i appreciate your willingness to lead this key agency at this critical time. and i see that your family joined you here today to lend support, so i extend a warm welcome to all of you and to them as well. cms is the world's largest health insurer. covering over one third of the u.s. population through medicare and medicaid alone. it has a budget of over $1 trillion and it processes over 1.2 billion claims a year f