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NAFTA renegotiations: Stress relief through research

Published September 29, 2017 by Mark Bodnar

drawing showing two people negotiating at a table

I'm sure you've been following the news about the NAFTA discussions, right? 

As with most negotiations, these early stages are full of drama and posturing, so it can be hard to avoid getting emotional about the whole thing.  This may be a librarian thing, but when I'm stressed, I seek out more information. Here's a quick run through a few resources that might help: 

Statista: I mentioned a while ago that our Statista database has some easy-to-digest charts & dossiers on NAFTA, useful information if you're trying to understand the background to a complex issue. Since then, they've added a NAFTA topic page: 66 pages of charts, all with sources, covering trade, employment, immigration, and public opinion.  As is all too common in many sources, the perspective is that of the USA (e.g., the public opinion data is all about how Americans feel about the deal), but it's still a good place to start your research. 

IBISWorld recently released a more Canada-focused perspective on NAFTA: 5 Canadian Industries Affected by Potential NAFTA Renegotiations. At the risk of giving away the plot, here are some links to specific Canadian industry reports in our IBISWorld database that are referred to in their post. (Note that you may need to click, authenticate with SFU ID, then come back and click again for the first report you try to access.): 

Think tanks love topics like NAFTA negotiations -- where better to get economic, social, and public policy priorities put into action in one short period? Check out organizations like the CD Howe Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (links go to pre-run searches). Also try the Think Tank Search tool at Harvard to search across hundreds of think tanks at once: e.g., NAFTA 2017 (search).

Passport, our database focused on fast-moving-consumer-goods, also touches on some trade/economy topics like NAFTA... because all market strategists need to understand what's changing in their business environment. Interestingly, Passport's interactive economic forecasting tool (Macro Model) includes a pre-set "Trump Trade War" scenario in which the US pulls out of NAFTA negotiations, adds a 35% tariff on all imports from Mexico, and negotiates a separate, NAFTA-like bilateral deal with Canada. (Go to Analytics > Macro Model in Passport to find this feature.)

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) would seem like an ideal publisher for this topic, and our EIU database doesn't disappoint. On a quick look I see such articles as "Mexico's NAFTA priorities take shape" and "Canada, outlining NAFTA priorities."

Regular readers of the Buzz will know that I could go on (and on...), but I'll stop for now. If you have any questions about researching NAFTA news & analysis, or about any of our amazing databases, just ask!

Don't stress yourself -- inform yourself! :-)

-- MarkB
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Mark Bodnar
mbodnar@sfu.ca
Economics & Business Librarian