At the start of this month, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, was sworn in as the latest president of Mexico and the first leftist leader to be elected since 2000. He entered office with a relatively high approval rating of 56 percent, considering the 24 percent approval rating of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, upon leaving office. Following his official ceremony, López Obrador took part in a traditional indigenous ceremony in Mexico City’s Zócalo square (BBC News 2018).
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1st, 1994. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate barriers to help promote positive trade and investment between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To accomplish this, tariffs were eradicated over time and almost “all duties and quantitative restrictions…were eliminated by 2008,” (“North American Free Trade Agreement”).
The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been a controversial piece of legislation since its conception in 1994. This controversy has been reignited since Donald Trump, now the president of the United States, has repeatedly referred to NAFTA as ‘the worst trade deal ever signed’, and a threat to U.S. manufacturing jobs (New York Times). During his election campaign, one of the largest proposals of his platform was to withdraw from the agreement, an idea on which he has flip-flopped quite a bit since his 2017 inauguration.
Controversial even then, the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1992 and went into effect in 1994, gradually eliminating most tariffs and other trade barriers on products and services circulating between Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
Richard J. Kilroy, a professor of regional and analytical studies at the National Defense University, Abelardo Rodríguez Sumano, a professor of international studies and international security at the University of Guadalajara, and Todd S. Hataley, an adjunct professor at the Royal Military College of Canada and research fellow at the Centre for International and Defense Policy at Queen’s University, discuss the security relations between the United States, Canada, and Mexico in North American Regional Security: A Trilateral Framework.
Democrats have always been more willing to push immigration reform than their conservative counterparts, as demonstrated by President Obama’s recent laws protecting children and their parents.
An active civil society is essential for any system in which governments are held accountable. Civil society groups are the challengers and communicators in a system which permits government to be challenged. They force governance issues into the open. But civil society can easily be thwarted by regulators, administrators, and others who are intent on preserving privileges or skewing priorities away from rule of law. Civil society needs certain corresponding elements to be in place in order to be effective.