NAFTA Negotiations Leading to Immigration Uncertainty

Last Updated on February 23, 2023


As NAFTA negotiations continue, the future of the TN visa and potential economic implications of the U.S. backing out remain uncertain.

NAFTA Negotiations and the U.S.

In the U.S., immigrants improve the bottom line, as demonstrated in our Immigration Trends Report, by increasing innovation, helping close the skills gap and expanding the diversity of knowledge within an organization.

Although New Pew research shows that many believe it’s within their reach, the American Dream may no longer be a story of coming to the U.S. like it once was. The Trump administration is adamant about building a border wall, potentially backing out of NAFTA and is making it more difficult to obtain H-1B Visas as seen by the recent 45 percent increase in requests for evidence.

With that in mind, reports show that many are coming to North America and settling in Canada or Mexico, instead.

NAFTA Negotiations for Mexico and Canada

The American Dream is no longer exclusive to the U.S. It’s often easier, faster and more economical to acquire a work visa for foreign nationals in our neighbors to the north and south. Cities including Guadalajara and Vancouver have even made headlines as “new Silicon Valleys” of North America. In fact, companies like Amazon, Google, IBM, Nabisco and Walmart have already moved or expanded their operations to Canada and/or Mexico.

The Trump administration’s opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement is only exacerbating the issue. While Canada and Mexico look to continue the discussion, it’s possible that the elimination of NAFTA could further fuel the economic movement and growth of tech companies outside of the U.S. In addition, while it remains unclear how the TN visa will be affected, there is less need and incentive for Canadians, Mexicans or immigrants working there to cross borders to the U.S. if their office has a more local headquarters.

NAFTA Negotiations: What now?

The Trump administration’s recently released immigration demands are adding pressure to legal immigration. The insecurity associated with increased visa renewal scrutiny, stagnant H-1B cap quotas and removal of previously established protections, has more individuals applying for citizenship, than ever before.

It’s unsure exactly which of the administration’s requests will officially become a reality, but one thing for certain is that many companies aren’t taking any chances. The movement of companies adding headquarters outside of the U.S. to places like neighboring Canada and Mexico is evidence that instability in the current U.S. immigration scene has organizations considering alternative solutions to acquire foreign talent that is critical to innovation and closing the skills gaps within their companies.

Watch our webinars on the Current State of Immigration and NAFTA and TN Visas to gain deeper insight into what all of this means for you and your company.