The ongoing trade war between the US and China has been a hot topic in the news recently. With President Trump threatening to impose tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports, Beijing has responded with tariffs of its own, as well as threats to also impose tariffs on US exports. The US has responded with threats of tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as a counter-balance.
After nearly a decade of deliberation and debate, a deal is in place to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a major trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The revised NAFTA would allow for the importation of up to $50 billion worth of goods from Canada, and up to $15 billion of goods from Mexico. While this deal may seem like a huge win for cannabis, the truth is that it could be much more.
Following the country’s Supreme Court decision to relax some of the restrictions on how the substance may be taken, former Mexican President Vicente Fox anticipates cannabis will be included in the new North American free-trade agreement.
In a televised interview, Fox said, “Cannabis needs to be part of the trade between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.” “Today, both Canada and Mexico are free markets for cannabis. For the time being, it’s just for medicinal purposes; in September, it’ll be for recreational purposes.”
Despite legislators failing to officially approve legislation to set the regulations underpinning a recreational market, Mexico’s Supreme Court decided last month that restrictions against marijuana use should be lifted. The court also decided that anybody who wants a recreational cannabis licence will now be able to get one.
The decision does not legalize the sale or use of cannabis without a license. Mexico approved medicinal cannabis in 2017, and the country’s recreational cannabis laws are scheduled to be revealed later this year.
“The Supreme Court ultimately rectified the legislation so that the market could open,” Fox said. “Congress objected, but the Supreme Court ultimately decided.”
Fox, who sits on the board of Khiron Life Sciences Corp., a Vancouver-based medical marijuana manufacturer, said the business would have cannabis products ready for sale in Mexico in “a few weeks.”
Mexico, with a population of 130 million people, would become the largest market for legal cannabis if recreational goods are allowed to be sold. However, experts predict that the market would be smaller than Canada and many US states, with analysts estimating that it will rise to US$1.2 billion. The Canadian cannabis industry is expected to reach $9 billion by 2020, while the US marijuana market is expected to reach $17.2 billion.
For commerce between nations like Canada and Mexico to begin, the United States will need to legalize cannabis on a federal level. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Jefferies LLC Analyst Owen Bennett said he expects the United States to legalize cannabis on a federal level in 2026, but other reform measures are anticipated sooner.
“I believe that once we start functioning in the Mexican market, when we are permitted to import and export, it will make it easier for us to operate in the United States in the near future, after they get government permission [for recreational cannabis]. I believe that will be included in NAFTA “According to Fox.
“I have no doubt that commerce will begin [between Mexico and neighboring U.S. states].”
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