Hiram College

The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is uncertain. What’s next, following the election of Donald Trump, who ran on an anti-NAFTA platform? Negotiations have begun between the three countries involved in the agreement: the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Hiram College will host Guillermo Malpica Soto, head of the Trade and NAFTA Office of the Mexican Ministry of Economy, in Washington, D.C., and Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit, in a panel discussion about NAFTA and related topics. This panel will take place on Tuesday, March 27 from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m, at Hayden Auditorium in Bates Hall.

“In 1994, NAFTA came into being. In the process, it restructured the nature of economic relations in North America. Since then, the economies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico have become completely intertwined,” says James Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Hiram College, and author of Making North America: Trade, Security, and Integration. “Fundamentally restructuring or terminating NAFTA would have a profound impact on the U.S. automobile industry, on U.S. agriculture, and on a whole range of other commercial activities.”

In May 2017, Trump announced that he intended to start negotiations with Canada and Mexico in regards to NAFTA, which he referenced as “the worst trade deal ever made.” United States farmers have already begun to see a decline in the agriculture industry. Mexico, an essential trade partner, is the second biggest importer of U.S. soybeans, and top importer of U.S. corn. Since negotiations have been declared, Mexico has turned to other countries for its agricultural needs.

Guillermo Malpica is Mexico’s lead negotiator in services and investment and has served as the director general for international trade in services and investment in Mexico’s Ministry of Economy since 2008. He also served as counsellor in Mexico’s Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization in Geneva in 2007, and as an economic affairs advisor in the NAFTA Office of the Ministry of the Economy in Ottawa, Canada in 2006. Malpica has spoken at conferences and seminars internationally and written articles on trade in services and investment. He graduated with a degree in economics from the University of the Americas-Puebla and a master’s degree in international studies at Tec de Monterrey- Mexico City.

Douglas George has more than 30 years of experience and is a career diplomat who is responsible for Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana as consul general. Having worked in various economic posts at Global Affairs Canada, George is credited as a trade policy expert, and he has directed trade policy issues at the Canadian Mission to the European Union in Brussels. George holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and a MBA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

For more information about the panel discussion – which is free and open to the public –  contact Kathy Luschek at luschekk@hiram.edu or 330.569.6118.