Renegotiating NAFTA: Prospects and Challenges

Conference
October 26, 2017
9:00AM to 5:15PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is currently being renegotiated by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised to get a better deal, or walk away entirely from NAFTA if necessary. Amidst the air of uncertainty surrounding the talks, a productive discussion surrounding the prospects and challenges to modernizing NAFTA has emerged. Though NAFTA was a cutting–edge trade deal in 1994, international trade has transformed significantly since then, most notably with the advent of the digital economy. This full–day conference explores both the politics and reality of the NAFTA negotiations, and puts forward ideas for what a modern NAFTA could look like.

8:30 – 9:00AM REGISTRATION
9:00 – 9:15AM WELCOMING REMARKS

Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

9:15 – 10:15AM SESSION I: NAFTA’S ORIGIN & PURPOSE

John Weekes, Bennett Jones
Rufus Yerxa, National Foreign Trade Council
Ricardo Ramirez, Appellate Body Member, World Trade Organization

Moderator: Jim Bacchus, Former Chairman of the WTO Appellate Body

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10:15 – 10:35AM BREAK
10:35 – 12:00PM SESSION II: THE DEBATE OVER NAFTA

Marta Bengoa, City College of New York
Steve Charnovitz, George Washington University Law School
Dan Griswold, Mercatus Center
Alvaro Santos, Georgetown University Law Center
Todd Tucker, Roosevelt Institute
Christopher Wilson, Wilson Center

Moderator: Dan Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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12:00 – 1:00PM LUNCHEON
1:15 – 2:30PM SESSION III: POLITICS & REALITY

Phil Levy, Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs
Ricardo Ramirez, Appellate Body Member, World Trade Organization
Bill Reinsch, Stimson Center

Moderator: Scott Lincicome, Adjunct Scholar, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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2:30 – 3:45PM SESSION IV: HOW TO MODERNIZE NAFTA

Christine Bliss, Coalition of Service Industries
Amgad Shehata, UPS
David Weller, Google

Moderator: Inu Manak, Visiting Scholar, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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3:45 – 4:05PM BREAK
4:05 – 5:15PM SESSION V: BREAKOUT SESSIONS

In the Shadow of NAFTA: Dairy, Lumber, and Bombardier

Ed Farrell, OFW Law
Dan Ikenson, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Chris Sands, Johns Hopkins, School of Advanced International Studies

Moderator: Colin Grabow, Trade Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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Dispute Settlement

Jennifer Hillman, Georgetown University Law Center
John Magnus, TradeWins
Mike Smart, Rock Creek Advisors

Moderator: Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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5:15 – 6:15PM RECEPTION