Evolving U.S. trade policy: What's at stake for the NAFTA zone?

TORONTO, April 10, 2017 /CNW/ - Scotiabank Economics today released the second of its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) report series. In this report, Scotiabank Economics looks at some likely areas of vulnerability in the event of a substantial revision of U.S. trade policy and provides simulation results from possible scenarios that are broadly consistent with recent statements by U.S. officials.

"Canada and Mexico are highly exposed to any changes in U.S. trade policy, as both countries send over three-quarters of their exports to the U.S., while only about one-quarter of global U.S. exports are sent to its NAFTA partners," said Jean-François Perrault, Chief Economist at Scotiabank. "But the U.S. isn't immune to negative shocks from changes in its trade policies. If negotiations to revise NAFTA fail, any move by the U.S. to impose tariffs on trade with Canada and Mexico would have a material macroeconomic impact on all three countries and potentially serious effects on individual states, provinces and industrial sectors."

Additional highlights of Scotiabank's NAFTA Report:

  • Three 'What if' scenarios from Scotiabank Economics on the effects of failed negotiations—featuring progressively higher tariffs and greater trade disruption.
  • Canadian and Mexican exports to the U.S. account for roughly 20% and 26% of their GDPs, respectively.
  • The U.S. is less dependent on trade with its NAFTA neighbours, but its supply chains are highly integrated with Canada and Mexico and would face relatively higher tariffs than its NAFTA partners if all three were to revert to trade on a Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) basis.
  • A recent, unofficial draft of the U.S. administration's possible NAFTA negotiating objectives indicates that taxation, intellectual property rights, e-commerce and cross-border business practices may be key areas of U.S. concern.
  • The U.S. administration has also identified sectors including softwood lumber, agricultural goods and finished food products as potential areas for review outside of NAFTA.
  • Revisions to NAFTA's rules of origin and dispute settlement mechanisms hold potential pitfalls, but could also make NAFTA function more equitably and efficiently for all three countries.

Scotiabank Economics is introducing a new resource: a guide to NAFTA. Visit Scotiabank Talks NAFTA for the latest reports and analysis: www.scotiabank.com/nafta

For the full report, visit http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/0,,3112,00.html

Scotiabank provides clients with in-depth research into the factors shaping the outlook for Canada and the global economy, including macroeconomic developments, currency and capital market trends, commodity and industry performance, as well as monetary, fiscal and public policy issues.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Asia-Pacific. We are dedicated to helping our 23 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 88,000 employees and assets of $887 billion (as at January 31, 2017), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Economic Reports

For further information: For media enquiries only: Debra Chan, Public, Corporate and Government Affairs, Scotiabank, (416) 866-6443, debra.chan@scotiabank.com

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