The clock is ticking for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
On August 31st President Trump declared to have the new deal signed within 90 days.
Now experts expecting details as early as September 30.
Today industry experts gather for Bridge Connect, a monthly meeting hosted by the Pharr International Bridge. One of the main topics, NAFTA 2.0. Federal and international trade experts meet to discuss with industry professionals. Many of them from Maquiladoras, manufacturing or the produce fields. They voice their upcoming concerns.
Oscar Garcia Logistics Manager at ContiTech says when the renegotiation was announced by president Trump, it caused concerns in the Mexican Manufacturing industries. “We were afraid to have these changes on our tariffs that should increase the price to our customers,” says Garcia, “Then the customers are looking for other options instead of doing business with Mexico.”
The Pharr international Bridge is the only full-service commercial bridge in the region. It’s the number one produce bridge in the bation and boasts over 33 Billion in trade. The bridge director says he’s optimistic about the future whether the new deal happens or not.
“Companies are still investing here.” Says Luis Bazan, Bridge Director at the Pharr International Bridge. Companies are still crossing. Business must continue. One way or another, whether you have a deal or not… call it the great American trade deal, I don’t know, but at the end of the day these companies have to continue to thrive.”
There are many unknowns in this NAFTA renegotiation deal including whether or not Canada will be part of said deal. In fact, as of this article, there is no official name for the agreement. Experts believe that a deal will happen soon. They expect that happens before a new president takes office in Mexico.”
Bazan says, “My guess is as good as yours. From all levels, no matter who the experts are they’re not experts in the field they’ll all tell you the same thing. Right now we’ll just be making a prediction.”
oday’s discussion talked about a minimal impact to the produce industry. The automotive and Maquiladora businesses may have to make some arrangements as well.
“We have to do some changes in our processes but in the end the effect, I don’t it’s going to be that negative,” says Garcia.
A new agreement must be signed by November 29 to fulfill the 90-day promise.
Then the congress of each country must review the agreement.
The earliest confirmed agreement can be expected in February 2019.