It has been a wild two years for business in North America, and few other events can capture the emotions and uncertainty better than the talks to renegotiate NAFTA.
There was a time, after all, when companies believed President Donald Trump would pull out of the deal altogether. At another time, negotiators were all but certain a deal could be reached by the end of 2017. Today, with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement having been reached, those times feel like far-off realities.
The truth is, the past twenty-or-so months have been dramatic. Elections, trade wars, and political rhetoric often got in the way of a deal. Meanwhile, negotiators worked long nights and longer months to find common ground.
Relive the drama of the talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the timeline below.
2017: An ambitious trade negotiation
Trump to sign executive orders signaling TPP withdrawal, NAFTA renegotiation
The long-awaited moves signal Trump's eagerness to renegotiate trade deals, a move both Mexico and Canada appear to favor.
NAFTA renegotation to begin in May, at the earliest
Mexican officials are starting the internal consultation process, but the U.S. seems to be delaying.
It's official: US will renegotiate, not exit, NAFTA
However, procedural delays by the U.S. have pushed back the timeline for official talks to August, at the earliest.
Senate confirms USTR nominee, making NAFTA 2.0's start imminent
The White House has long been anxious to renegotiate NAFTA, and Lighthizer's confirmation was one of the last hurdles to begin the U.S. process.
Industry associations urge USTR to 'do no harm' on NAFTA
Various retail associations, 18 senators and the Internet Association impressed the importance of the trade deal upon the USTR while highlighting key issues for improvement.
NAFTA 2.0 begins: How the next year may transform the future of US supply chains
Companies spent the past 23 years adapting to the first deal; will business change as drastically this time around?
USTR receives over 1,000 comments on how to improve NAFTA
The wide range of comments reveal a consensus that renewed talks are an opportunity to improve business, so long as the talks aim to 'do no harm' and facilitate trade.
The US' official NAFTA negotiating objectives
The U.S. will renegotiate the landmark trade agreement with Canada and Mexico in a month. Here’s the document that will guide the negotiators.
First NAFTA talks to take place Aug. 16 in US
The meetings will likely be the first of seven, in order to pass a renegotiated deal prior to elections in 2018.
Round 1: NAFTA talks open with ambitious goals
The first of seven rounds of negotiations begins today, with Canada, Mexico and the U.S. discussing more than 30 topics — many of which are bound to be contentious.
First round of NAFTA talks end with clear timeline
A testy negotiating environment kicked off the talks, but the three neighbors' trade representatives agreed to maintain an expedited schedule.
Round 2: Success in Mexico City may yield first set of NAFTA 'deals'
Tensions are high after President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the deal, but reports indicate negotiators are set up for success in this round of talks.
Despite progress, NAFTA deals will wait until round 3, ministers say
Top negotiators from Canada, U.S. and Mexico ended round 2 claiming great progress despite political tensions, but sources say tough topics have yet to be addressed.
Round 3: NAFTA gets wonky
The last two rounds were easy compared to the challenges negotiators will face in Ottawa this weekend.
Round 4: Will NAFTA talks end on time?
A two-day extension of the latest negotiating round leaves doubts as to whether the talks are on track.
Trade tensions extend NAFTA talks to 2018
The fourth round ended on a sour note, as "new proposals" led to "conceptual gaps" among the negotiating parties, which will not be resolved quickly.
NAFTA round 5 saw 'lack of headway,' but plenty of blame to cast
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs said she is preparing for the worst, as the trade partners continue to clash over "extreme proposals."
2018: A year of missed deadlines — and a deal
Is NAFTA dead?
Currencies fell after Reuters reported Canada is convinced President Trump will soon pull the plug on the trade deal, but foreign onlookers seem hardly worried.
Round 6: It's now or never for NAFTA
This week could very well determine whether NAFTA lives, dies or — as one outlet put it — is zombified, but the real bellwether will come in March.
Slow progress yields hope at the end of NAFTA round 6
The U.S. Trade Representative said the U.S. is committed to moving forward with the "important agreement" but hopes talks will accelerate soon.
Round 7: All signs point to even longer NAFTA talks
Negotiators hope to seal a deal by March 2018, but the accelerated timeline is fracturing as political interests ramp up.
A NAFTA deal may come down to political will
Trade officials warn time is running short as all three nations approach their political seasons.
Round 8? NAFTA 2.0 outline may come this month
North America’s top trade ministers met last week in Washington, hoping to reach an “agreement-in-principle” they could sell the world by the end of the month.
US delays steel, aluminum tariffs until June
President Trump announced negotiations would continue with Mexico, Canada and the EU but granted Brazil, Argentina and Australia permanent exemptions.
Round 9: The final NAFTA countdown
After a full month of talks, negotiators are racing to get a new deal up for votes during both the U.S. and Mexico's lame duck legislative sessions.
Negotiators blow past NAFTA deadline but plan to resume talks
House Speaker Paul Ryan set the stage for a dramatic week of negotiations, but instead saw NAFTA talks wind down to irresolution.
US moves forward with steel tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico
The 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs on imports from the countries will go into effect at midnight tonight.
US allies retaliate against 'unacceptable' steel tariffs
Canada, Mexico and the EU swiftly responded with retaliatory measures on U.S. goods ranging from steel to felt-tipped pens.
Negotiators push for a NAFTA deal by August
Time and time again, representatives from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have missed their deadlines. Will August be any different?
Mexico, US reach deal on NAFTA
Canada is expected to return to the table promptly now the two parties have resolved bilateral differences over issues including auto rules of origin.
What's next for NAFTA?
A deluge of news emerged after the U.S. and Mexico reached a bilateral deal yesterday, with speculation Canada would be excluded and NAFTA would be terminated. Here are the facts.
US kicks off process to sign NAFTA 2.0
The U.S. has officially notified Congress of its intent to sign a new trade deal with Mexico — and maybe Canada — within 90 days.
NAFTA negotiators strike a new deal: USMCA
A new deal finally reached legislators' desks last night. Find out who will be most impacted by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.