Cahiers de recherche du CEIM, No. 00-11, août 2000.
The free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico had essentially the same
objectives for the latter two countries : to have broader and securer access to their main market
and create a more favorable environment for an outward-oriented economic growth. Canada’s
request to officially take part in negotiations between Mexico and the U.S. has been justified
as tactical. Canadian authorities sought to improve several of the recently implemented
clauses of the Canada US trade agreement such as the dispute-settlement procedure. By
taking part in these negotiations, the Canadian government wished to improve the North
American rules of origin. The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had, however,
two positive effects on Canada-Mexico relations. It created more dynamic trade relations
between the two countries and it played the role of a cooperation “catalyst”, transforming a
friendly relationship into a strategic partnership.
Market liberalization and harmonization of necessary regulations in the North American
region, which may be qualified as an “emerging regime”, obviously played a great role in this
new cooperative relationship. Mexico became, to Canada, a potential strategic partner with
which it wished to develop closer economic and diplomatic relations, as well as approaches, if
not solutions, to problems of common interest. This relative closeness has also enabled both
countries to gain a better understanding of each other and to establish a permanent mutual
dialogue that is equally beneficial to both businesses and civil associations, as well as both
countries’ population in general. Finally, with its own international policy agenda, Canada
possibly intends to use its partnership with Mexico to extend its relations with other countries
of Latin America, as well as to assert its own interests and mark its values in the institutions
of an emerging community of the Americas.
(Suite dans le document joint)