From NAFTA to USMCA: Changing Trade Relations and Political Consequences

When: Friday, February 15, 2019 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: 220 Eggers Hall (Dr. Paul and Natalie Strasser Legacy Room)


The Trump Administration made a trade deal with the United States’ closest neighbors a priority in 2017, with the goal of replacing NAFTA with a new agreement that was “fair” to the U.S.  Efforts to negotiate a new treaty created tensions in US relations with Mexico and Canada.  This panel will explore both the efforts to reach NAFTA 2.0, its significance as a trade agreement, and the potential political and security consequences of the volatility in US-Canada-Mexico relations over the last two years. 


Christopher Wilson

Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


Christopher Wilson is Deputy Director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he leads the Institute’s research and programming on regional economic integration and U.S.-Mexico border affairs. He is the author and editor of numerous reports, including Growing Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico (Wilson Center, 2017) and the State of the Border Report. Chris has testified before the United States Congress and is regularly consulted by national and international media outlets regarding U.S.-Mexico relations. He has written opinion columns for the Wall Street Journal, Politico, CNN, and Reuters, among others. Chris previously worked as a contractor doing Mexico analysis for the U.S. military and as a researcher at American University’s Center for North American Studies. In Mexico, he worked at an international trade consultancy and with American students studying regional political and social issues. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board Committee on International Trade and Transportation, one of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine technical committees designed to provide independent, objective analysis to inform public policy decisions. Chris completed his M.A. in International Affairs at American University, focusing on U.S. foreign policy and hemispheric relations. 

Meredith Lilly

Associate Professor and Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs, the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University


Meredith Lilly holds the Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs (2016-2021). Dr. Lilly is an award-winning researcher and public policy expert. She served as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister from 2013-2015.  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. During her tenure as the Prime Minister’s International Trade advisor, Dr. Lilly oversaw the conclusion of Canada’s free-trade negotiations with the European Union, Korea, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership among others. As Foreign Affairs advisor, within the Prime Minister’s Office she spearheaded Canada’s response to multiple humanitarian crises and global conflicts, led Canada’s renewal of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative and also the launch of its International Education Strategy. As Canada’s social affairs advisor to the Prime Minister (2012-2013), Dr. Lilly oversaw the overhaul of Canada’s temporary foreign worker program, renewal and transformation of the skills agenda, and the launch of strategies to support underrepresented groups in the labour force. Her experience across domestic and international portfolios informs Dr. Lilly’s current research interests in the intersection of domestic and international public policy and the economic consequences for Canadians. Dr. Lilly’s current research is focused on global demographic transition and Canada’s economic interests, labour mobility provisions in multilateral free-trade agreements, and emerging public policy challenges facing Canada in a globalized economic context. Her previous work focused on the influence of demographic change on employment and health systems planning. Dr. Lilly holds a Postdoctoral Certificate in Economics from McMaster University (2011), a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto (2008) and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development from the University of Toronto (1998).

Keith Maskus

Arts and Sciences Professor of Distinction, Department of Economics, University of Colorado, Former Lead Economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank and Former Chief Economist of the US State Department


Keith E. Maskus is Professor of Economics and former Associate Dean for Social Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. He has been a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank. He is also a Research Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Fellow at the Kiel Institute for World Economics, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Bocconi and a visiting scholar at the CES-Ifo Institute at the University of Munich and the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University. He serves also as a consultant for the World Bank and the World Intellectual Property Organization and recently chaired a panel of the National Research Council on intellectual property management in standards-setting organizations. Maskus received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan in 1981 and has written extensively about various aspects of international trade. His current research focuses on the international economic aspects of protecting intellectual property rights. He is the author of Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy, published by the Institute for International Economics, and co-editor of International Public Goods and the Transfer of Technology under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime, published by Cambridge University Press. A new volume, Private Rights and Public Problems: The Global Economics of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century, was published in 2012 by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.


Gladys McCormick, Associate Professor of History and Jay and Debe Moskowitz Chair in Mexico-US Relations, Syracuse University  

Devashish Mitra, Professor of Economics and Gerald B. and Daphna Cramer Professor of Global Affairs, Syracuse University    

Co-sponsored by:

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Program on Latin America and the Caribbean (PLACA)

Department of History

Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT)

International Relations Program

Department of Public Administration and International Affairs (PAIA)

Trade, Development and Political Economy; Social Science Program

Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-US Relations

Department of Political Science 

Department of Economics

Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC)