North America Free Trade Agreement countries flag patch on white background.

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Obama, and President Enrique Peña Nieto meet in Ottawa today and as we contemplate Brexit, the principles that bind Canada, the United States and Mexico together become increasingly important.  Recently, at the United States-Canada S.A.G.E. Summit at Ohio University, Dr. Christopher Sands and Dr. Katie Friedman discussed the principles of the Canada-US relationship.  What may be as important are the principles of the Canada-US-Mexico trading relationship.


  1. Sovereignty: We must operate as sovereign equals.
  2. Prosperity: A core principle is that all three countries wish to prosper.
  3. Reciprocity:  Prosperity must be a two-way street.  There must be mutual recognition.
  4. Cooperation: The rising tide raises all the boats.  We must seek opportunities to work cooperatively for the betterment.
  5. Friendship: There are many relationships between the three countries.  The foundation of the relationships is friendship.  That does not mean that we give each other the keys to the house or are over for dinner every week-end.  It does mean that that we are there for each other in times of need.  It does mean that the relationship is a special one.  It does mean that when opportunities arise to do things together on the world stage or for each other, we will do the best we can.
  6. Integration: It is important to integrate our infrastructure in order to facilitate trade and movement of persons.
  7. Harmonization: It is important to harmonize our laws so that trade in goods and trade in services may occur with ease.
  8. Security: Our mutual security is fundamentally important to a successful trading relationship.
  9. Rule of Law: Any conflicts that arise must be resolvable by the Rule of Law.
  10. Fairness: We must treat each other fairly.
  11. Transparency: Everything must be done in an open and transparent manner.
  12. Respect: We must respect that we have different ways of doing things and different opinions and sometimes the interests of our people may be different.  That does not mean that we must lose respect for each other.
  13. Leadership: The leaders of Canada-US-Mexico can show leadership to each other and to the World.  We have an opportunity to lead by example.

For more information, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or atcyndee@lexsage.com. Alternatively, visit www.lexsage.com.