It’s been called a “historic bipartisan trade pact.” Donald Trump hailed it as a “victory” for his administration and for the American people. Nancy Pelosi called it a trade agreement that is “infinitely better” than both NAFTA and Trump’s initial proposal. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka insisted that the USMCA has been “fixed” — that “swift and certain labor enforcement mechanisms” are now in place. But is this really a victory for working people? Is the USMCA fundamentally different from NAFTA? To answer these questions, it is worth looking at how the financial press has covered the story.
A report by economists Thea M. Lee and Robert E. Scott at the Economic Policy Institute concedes that USMCA is a big improvement from the 2017 version, but concludes that it ultimately adds up to “Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process.” Using statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission, Lee and Scott point out that, at best, the deal will only create about 51,000 jobs over the next six years and could raise the GDP by a few tenths of a percentage point. These potential jobs would come in farming, manufacturing and mining. The report cites an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper which predicts nothing but bad news for the (already beleaguered) auto-industry. That same paper concludes that, “At the aggregate level, effects of the USMCA are relatively small...effects of the USMCA on real GDP are negligible.”
The debate around Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 is heating up. Mexico just ratified the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), leaving both Canada and the United States to follow suit. But, there are some major road-blocks in both countries that could delay or even derail the “trade” deal completely. In the US, we have to keep the pressure on House Democrats so they don’t succumb to the interests of Big Pharma, Big Ag, and the Fossil Fuel industry that are fighting hard for further deregulation under NAFTA 2.0.
(June 10, 2019) — In 2016, Donald Trump’s trade message was very simple: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was the worst trade deal ever negotiated. He has renegotiated NAFTA, rebranding the deal as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We never quite understood his objection to the original NAFTA, and we don’t understand how USMCA fixes it. You need to squint to see the difference between NAFTA and its replacement.
The April 18, 2019 release of the International Trade Commission (ITC) report on the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) does nothing to alter the reality that the fate of NAFTA 2.0 relies largely on whether the administration engages with congressional Democrats and then with Canada and Mexico to improve the text signed last year. That Democrats, unions and others who have opposed past pacts seek improvements – rather than the deal’s demise – reveals that a path exists to build broad support. But absent removal of new monopoly protections for pharmaceutical firms that lock in high drug prices and strengthened labor and environmental standards and enforcement, the deal is not likely to garner a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Back in December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump gave Congress a six-month ultimatum to approve the newly signed “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (USMCA), yet as elections loom closer and tariffs disputes continue the chance of the countries ratifying the pact this year are receding. Even though a deal was reached in 2018, the USMCA has not been ratified by any of the three countries, which means the trade framework is still at risk. “The USMCA is in trouble,” assured former Mexican deputy foreign minister for North America, Andres Rozental.
The path to creating a trade system that puts the necessities of the people and the protection of the planet before trade designed for transnational corporations begins with stopping Trump Trade, the NAFTA 2.0 referred to as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreements (USMCA). Many of the shortcomings of the original NAFTA remain and the reforms made are inadequate to warrant support for those who believe in fair trade that puts people and planet before corporate trade. The path to a trade regimen that we need begins by stopping Trump Trade.
I had the great fortune to attend the inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (or AMLO, as he is known) as the 58th Mexican president on December 1. The atmosphere at the Legislative Palace was electric with the knowledge that Mexico would be beginning its “Fourth Transformation” — following its 1810 independence, the 1855 reformation, and the 1910 revolution — with the first left-wing presidency in its history. It was AMLO’s third attempt at the office. In 2006 Felipe Calderón orchestrated a cyber fraud that gave him a slim advantage over AMLO. And in order to win in 2012, outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto engaged in tricks like giving away cash-loaded bank cards.
Trump’s renegotiated NAFTA, the USMCA, maintains the same failed model as NAFTA and the TPP that favors big corporations at the expense of working people and the environment. This agreement should be rejected and replaced with a new model of trade that protects workers, the environment and democracy. We can stop it from being ratified by Congress. Contact your member of Congress using the simple tool below.
Washington, D.C. – With the signing of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Nov. 30 as the migrant crisis at the border escalates, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch released a timely analysis of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) disproportionate damage to U.S. Latinos and Mexican workers, and whether the NAFTA 2.0 deal would stop it. “While President Trump’s manipulation of grievances over trade and immigration brought him to power, absent from his worldview is the reality that NAFTA was developed by and for multinational corporations seeking to pay workers less and has hurt both U.S. and Mexican workers,”...
On November 30, leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada signed the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the G20 in Argentina. The new NAFTA is an updated version of rigged corporate trade that sells out workers and endangers the environment for profits. We speak with Arthur Stamoulis of Citizens Trade about what is in the new NAFTA and the politics around it. We have an opportunity to stop this model of rigged corporate trade, which began in the 1990s with NAFTA, and replace it with a trade model that protects people and the planet. Learn what you can do.
Our addiction to militarism has to end. From millions-strong protests in Yemen to carte blanche for military force at the border, our violent empire has no dimmer switch – and no self restraint. Next up, the impossible always seems so till you invoke - Planck's constant? This and other news of “impossible change.” Finally, Margaret Flowers from Popular Resistance and Trade for People and Planet sits down with us to discuss the USMCA – what you might know as NAFTA.
Three days away from the target date for all three countries to officially sign the revised North American trade agreement, Canada and the United States are still haggling over what the deal actually says. An annex on duties Canada imposes on U.S. dairy, egg and poultry products that was posted online by the Trump administration contained language that differed from what Canadian negotiators believed they'd agreed to at the table. Confronted with the discrepancy, the American side stuck to its guns. The clock is ticking down fast: Nov. 30, the intended signing date, is this Friday.
On November 30, the leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada plan to sign the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), during the G-20 Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the last date that the agreement can be signed by the outgoing right-wing Mexican President Peña Nieto before the new president takes office. Join the first No NAFTA 2 national call on Tuesday, November 13 at 9:00 pm Eastern/6:00 pm Pacific.