Why NAFTA Is Critical for Mexico

By Luis Rubio

The not-yet-ratified USMCA has already impacted Mexican institutions, beyond the economy.

For Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement as originally designed was much more about politics than trade. The George Bush administration that negotiated the agreement understood that and, in fact, saw NAFTA in geopolitical, rather than economic terms. A senior adviser to the White House at that time once told me that it was “a no-brainer: a prosperous Mexico is in the best interest of the United States.” How times change.

The importance of NAFTA cannot be overstated, which is why uncertainty over its replacement, provoked first by Donald Trump as a candidate for the...

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