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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Trump had already rescinded TPP in The USA, last week (among many other issues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.

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