'USMCA: Mexico’s integrationist development strategy 25 years on'

My thesis centres on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2017-19 to understand the long-term implications of Mexico’s integrationist development strategy. It builds on the legal text of the old (NAFTA) and new (USMCA) trade agreements, extensive media coverage of the negotiations, and over 60 interviews conducted with negotiators, politicians, business and union leaders in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It identifies a worsening of the market access-policy space trade-off characteristic of North-South trade agreements; and investigates how closer economic ties between Mexico and the US prevented the Trump administration from achieving some of its boldest objectives. It then analyses the reasons for the inclusion of unprecedented labour provisions in USMCA, and their implication for future North-South trade relations.

Ludovic Arnaud
Research Student