The Future of NAFTA and the State of U.S.-Mexico Relations
A forum hosted by the University of California and Tecnólogico de Monterrey
In partnership with The Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and the Progressive Policy Institute
For more than two decades, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has served as a cornerstone of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and North American economic competitiveness. Yet, the new presidential administration has created uncertainty around the future of NAFTA. On September 21, in Washington, D.C., the University of California and Tecnológico de Monterrey will convene academics, policymakers and experts in a fact-based discussion on the renegotiation of NAFTA and the state of U.S.-Mexico relations.
The forum, held at the UCDC center in Washington, D.C, will bring together a diverse group of thought-leaders for dialogue around the implications of the renegotiation of this important trade agreement on industries, jobs, and growth across the United States, Mexico and Canada. In particular, discussions will explore the importance of the agreement at the city, state, and regional level, using California and the Western U.S. as a model for important trade relationships with Mexico. The forum will leverage insights from top UC academics and others in dynamic conversations on key questions around the future of NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico relations.
9:30 – 10:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
10:00 – 10:15 AM
Opening Remarks from Forum Co-Chairs:
Janet Napolitano, President, University of California
Alejandro Poiré, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Government at Tecnológico de Monterrey
10:15 – 11:10 AM
Panel I: The Modernization of NAFTA
Much has been made of the need to modernize NAFTA, given the advent of technologies and trade practices that did not exist 23 years ago. This panel will explore questions such as what more can be done to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses have a seat at the table in trade negotiations and how can NAFTA be improved to ensure that e-commerce and cross-border trade in digital products is both easy and secure? In addition, panelists will provide reflections on how to update rules on dispute settlement and origin of goods. Speakers will also provide an update on the current stance of the White House on trade with Mexico and opportunities for the U.S. and Mexico to find common ground during the renegotiation.
11:15 – 12:10 PM
Panel II: Global Competitiveness of Key North American Industries
Panelists will explain how NAFTA has enabled the development of globally competitive industries in North America, advancing shared opportunities on energy sustainability as well as creating supply chains and production processes that span the continent. Discussions will explore questions like how can a mutually beneficial renegotiation modernize and strengthen the agreement? What impact could changes in our trade relationship with Mexico have not just for American businesses and workers, but for the world economy and national security?
12:30 – 1:05 PM (during lunch)
Arm-Chair Conversation with Forum Co-Chairs Napolitano and Poire
How can the U.S. and Mexico continue to forge a productive relationship that supports our shared history and culture and the continued flow of people and ideas between the two countries? Given the current political climate, how important is it to open new avenues for cross-border cooperation outside of traditional diplomacy? How can collaborations like the UC-Mexico Initiative serve as a model for new opportunities for bolstering deeper integration moving forward?
1:10 – 2:05 PM
Panel III: Developing a Workforce for the Globalized Economy
Speakers will discuss opportunities for targeted workforce development in the globalized 21stcentury economy. The panel will explore the tension between international trade and the labor market and identify areas of the agreement that should be updated to support quality jobs in North America. They will also discuss local, state and federal policy options for supporting the “jobs of tomorrow” and further developing a global magnet for talent within the NAFTA countries.
2:25 – 3:20 PM
Panel IV: Nationalism vs. Regionalism in North America: What’s at stake?
What are the spillovers from the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship into other areas of cooperation like diplomacy and security? What must be done to manage the emergence of nationalism in North America? What kind of trade agreements and diplomatic efforts must we pursue to keep an atmosphere of partnership in our region?
3:25 – 4:10 PM
Panel V: The California-Mexico Relationship
While the debate over the future of NAFTA takes place in Washington, U.S. trade with Mexico is largely defined by specialization at the regional, state and city levels. California and the Western region have a unique perspective on what may be gained and lost in changes to the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship, especially related to agriculture and manufacturing. This panel explores the importance of trade to the future of the dynamic Western U.S.-Mexico relationship.
1608 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington , DC 20036
Google map and directions