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POSTPONED – The Future of Trade in North America

This event has been postponed due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. We are working with the speakers to find a new date for this important discussion.


For almost a quarter of a century, Mexico, the United States and Canada have been bound by the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA has become a symbol of the relationship between all three nations, the foundation of their economic interactions and a facilitating framework for other cooperation arrangements. However, NAFTA has never been popular in the United States, and it has also drawn strong criticism in Mexico. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump pointed to NAFTA as an example of a “bad trade deal” and argued that it had hurt the U.S. workforce, particularly in the manufacturing sector, and contributed substantially to a ballooning trade deficit. He even called for “terminating” the agreement. As president, however, Trump is facing increasing resistance to his efforts to revise NAFTA amid debates over the potential impact to the U.S. economy if the accord is revised without careful forethought or, worse, revoked completely.

This conference brings together trade and industry experts and current and former government officials to explain the controversies behind NAFTA, the risks and opportunities of revising the agreement and the likely outcome of renegotiation.

This event is sponsored by the Baker Institute Mexico Center and International Economics Program and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation online with #BakerNAFTA.



8:30 am



Breakfast and Registration

9:00 am



Welcome and Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Tony Payan, Ph.D.
Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and Director, Baker Institute Mexico Center

Jason Grumet
Founder and President, Bipartisan Policy Center

9:10 am



Keynote Remarks

Herminio Blanco, Ph.D.
Founder and Chairman of the Board, IQOM Inteligencia Comercial; former Minister of Trade and Industry, NAFTA Chief Negotiator and Vice Minister of International Negotiations, Mexico

9:40 am     


10:00 am    

Panel — Renegotiating NAFTA: A First Take

Karen Antebi
Economic Counselor, Trade and NAFTA Office, Ministry of the Economy, Embassy of Mexico in the United States

Bob Harvey
President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership

Vasken Khabayan
Acting Consul General, Consulate General of Canada in Dallas

Reuben Smith-Vaughan
Executive Director, U.S.-Mexico Economic Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Moderator: Russell Green, Ph.D., Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics, Baker Institute

11:15 am




11:30 pm




11:50 pm



Introduction of Closing Speaker

Tony Payan, Ph.D.
Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and Director, Baker Institute Mexico Center

12:00 pm



Closing Remarks

Antonio Ortiz-Mena, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group; former Head of Economic Affairs, Embassy of Mexico in the United States

12:45 pm




1:00 pm








Wed, Sept. 6, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central

Event has ended


James A. Baker III Hall
Rice University's Baker Institute – 6100 Main St
Houston, TX 77005

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