International TradeInternational Relations

A Handshake Deal with Mexico?

Posted on in International Trade · International Relations


When running for President, Donald Trump called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the “worst trade deal ever.” Since taking office, the Trump administration has laid out goals to renegotiate the agreement. Talks with Mexico have centered around the automobile sector.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

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“NAFTA ‘handshake’ deal with Mexico targeted for Thursday”

“Mexican officials say NAFTA deal will require all three sides present”

“Trump to announce NAFTA ‘handshake’ deal on Thursday: report”

“Chrystia Freeland ‘Encouraged’ By Reports of U.S.- Mexico ‘Handshake’ Deal on NAFTA”

“NAFTA ‘Handshake’ Deal with Mexico Not The Final Straw”

“What happens if Trump dumps NAFTA?”

This Reuters piece provides an accessible timeline of NAFTA:


  • Writing: Explain why you believe both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Debate: Free trade between the North American countries has largely benefited Mexico and Canada at the expense of the United States.
  • Poll: Free trade has largely been a net positive for the United States.
  • Short Answer: According to many economists, what are the likely repercussions of a failed effort to renegotiate NAFTA?

Current events quiz:

1) Which President signed NAFTA into law?

  1. Clinton
  2. Bush
  3. Obama
  4. Trump

2) A new Mexican Congress will take office on _____________, adding to the pressure of renegotiation.

  1. September 1st
  2. October 1st
  3. January 20th
  4. January 30th

3) NAFTA was created as a way to _______________.

  1. strengthen economic growth
  2. increase prosperity for Canada, the United States, and Mexico
  3. encourage free trade
  4. all of these

4) Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. would need to be present in this handshake deal, according to Mexican sources. (T/F)

5) President Trump fully endorses the NAFTA pact and wants it to succeed, routinely endorsing it on the campaign trail. (T/F)

6) The U.S. is under pressure to renegotiate a new deal by the end of the year. (T/F)


1) A

2) A

3) D

4) True

5) False

6) False

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