It is true that President Trump has made threatening noises. And it is true that he has appointed people with protectionist bents to run Commerce and the USTR office.
But said Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, founded a major Mexican autoparts manufacturer. International Automotive Components makes parts for doors, side panels, consoles, exteriors, floors and sound systems for BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai/Kia, Volvo Truck and Freightliner. He also owns the International Textile Group, with plants in Morelos.
Talk about irony!
Now, Secretary Ross will presumably liquidate those holdings. So he should not have a financial stake in preserving NAFTA. But he will viscerally understand the many companies that do.
I now suspect that the much-ballyhooed NAFTA renegotiation is going to end with stricter rules of origin, say 80% instead of 62½. There may also be some weakening of the dispute-resolution mechanism and higher labor standards. But I increasingly think that the Trump administration will refrain from blowing it all up.
Although I still have no idea what fakery they will use to pretend that Mexico is paying for the wall.