Many U.S. voters have shown this year that they're skittish on foreign trade, but two close U.S. allies are moving in the opposite direction.
Canada is strengthening direct economic and political ties with Mexico, the two NAFTA members firming up their relationship as Donald Trump blasts the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Bernie Sanders and others condemn the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In late June, the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that it will lift visa restrictions for Mexican visitors, a move that is likely to foster more direct trade and investment between the two countries. Canada and Mexico already have economic ties through NAFTA and even split some of the same industrial supply chains, but the visa rules deterred closer economic ties.
"That is going to do a lot to restore relations. I don't think (Mexico) President Pena Nieto would have visited Canada in that last leader summit had they not done so," Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, told CNBC. "At the same, the U.S. continues to have a visa for Mexicans coming to the United States; it is not the fact of the visa, it's how intrusive the Canadian visa was."