INDIANAPOLIS-– A new trade deal with Mexico improves relations with Indiana’s second-biggest trading partner — but, for the moment, freezes out the biggest.
Even pro-NAFTA groups have said the 25-year-old agreement needs to be updated for the digital age. Indiana Chamber president Kevin Brinegar says the symbolism of reaching an agreement with Mexico is important in itself, though he says he needs to see the details before drawing any conclusions about whether the U.S. cut a good deal.
But the deal doesn’t include NAFTA, the other partner in NAFTA. President Trump said in announcing the agreement that Canada might be added later, but also raised the possibility of new tariffs. Brinegar says the confrontational U.S. stance toward Canada has been “unfortunate,” and says he hopes an agreement will follow quickly.
Canada is Indiana’s biggest trading partner, accounting for about a third of Hoosier exports — the Canadian consulate is even a Chamber member. At more than $13 billion in exports last year, it’s more than double Indiana exports to Mexico, and more than Mexico and the next four countries combined.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo: Carlos Tischler/Nurphoto via Getty Images)
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