An atomic bomb. Disastrous. A nightmare scenario. Tragic. Absolutely destructive.
These were the dire words used by three of the original negotiators of NAFTA to describe what would happen if the deal was thrown out and protectionist trade policies ruled.
NAFTA is the trade deal between U.S., Canada and Mexico that’s under siege from President Trump. He has threatened to rip up NAFTA if a new deal can’t be reached from renegotiating it.
The three original negotiators see the global economic and security order at risk if the Trump threats of tariffs and protectionism become reality — and other countries adopt the same policies in retaliation.
Protectionism “is an atomic bomb for trade,” said Jaime Serra Puche, Mexico’s former secretary of trade and industry. On ending NAFTA: “We will be shooting ourselves in the foot as a region.”
The sentiment was echoed by Carla Hills, former U.S. trade representative under President George H.W. Bush: “If we cut off our neighbors, we’re cutting ourselves.”
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