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Canada and the World, Ep. 9: NAFTA 2.0: You-Smack-A (USMCA)

A new podcast series from and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

By: /
5 October, 2018

Recorded in Ottawa just days after the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was announced, this week’s episode breaks down the new deal, part-by-part. Does the agreement help prepare North American economies for the future? Where did the dust settle when it comes to modernization elements, the more contentious issues, such as the sunset clause, and the “greatest hits” — the issues such as dairy that have always been tricky? Did Canada trade off cows for cars? What happened to chapters 19 and 11? And, what to make of the little provision that requires permission to do deals with “non-market” economies, like China?

Three top US-Canada experts — Laura Dawson, Chris Sands and Meredith Lily — join host Bessma Momani to help you understand what’s new, what’s unchanged and what’s next, including the steps for ratification and how the US midterm elections factor in. 

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media. 

This week’s guests

Laura Dawson is the director of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and one of the world’s leading experts on political and economic relations between the United States and its northern neighbour. Named among the top 100 foreign policy influencers in Canada, she is an in-demand writer, analyst and adviser on NAFTA, TPP and international trade. The founder of Dawson Strategic, an economic research and consulting firm, Dawson is a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and was senior adviser on economic affairs at the US Embassy in Ottawa. 

Christopher Sands is senior research professor and director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. and a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Johns Hopkins University Research Administration. Sands is a non-resident senior associate of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an associate member at Chatham House, and an associate of the Chaire Raoul-Dandurand en Affaires stratégiques et diplomatiques de l’Université du Québec à Montréal. 

Meredith Lilly holds the Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs. She is an award-winning researcher and public policy expert and served as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Advisor to former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2013 to 2015. She has extensive experience in free-trade negotiations and international trade, public policy development, executive branch decision making, international security matters, and Canada-US relations. In 2014, she was listed among the Top 100 people influencing Canadian foreign policy by Power and Influence Magazine.

Canada and The World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications. 

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

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