I was just watching the Obama-Clinton debate in Ohio. Most of the trade stuff was boilerplate, but one point jumped out at me. Both Obama and Clinton stated explicitly that they will "opt out" of NAFTA unless the governments of Canada and Mexico agree to re-negotiate the agreement. In particular, they want labor and environmental standards to be a core part of the agreement, enforceable through dispute settlement. (Senator Clinton also mentioned something about preventing foreign investors from challenging our laws designed to protect workers, but I forget whether that was said in the same context).
Here's my question for any Canadian or Mexican readers (or any others who might have some insights): What would the reaction of the Canadian and Mexican governments be to this proposal?
UPDATE: Here's the part where Clinton talks about foreign investors:
But let's talk about what we're going to do. It is not enough just to criticize NAFTA, which I have, and for some years now. I have put forward a very specific plan about what I would do, and it does include telling Canada and Mexico that we will opt out unless we renegotiate the core labor and environmental standards -- not side agreements, but core agreements; that we will enhance the enforcement mechanism; and that we will have a very clear view of how we're going to review NAFTA going forward to make sure it works, and we're going to take out the ability of foreign companies to sue us because of what we do to protect our workers. (emphasis added)
So I think it's clear that modifying the investment provisions is part of her general re-negotiation plan. What's not clear to me is whether the investment re-negotiation will be limited to laws "to protect our workers." That's the only part she mentions, but it seems strange to single that area out.