Washington. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today congratulated the Trump administration’s achievement of a new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The newly announced deal improves many of the provisions contained in the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
CPA Chairman Dan DiMicco said, “I want to thank President Trump for continuing to deliver on his campaign promises. His economic and trade teams, led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, have taken another strong step to improve America’s global competitiveness through smart trade reform. Updating the rules of trade between the US, Mexico, and Canada will tackle some of the challenges that have arisen over the past quarter-century, and will address some of the challenges facing America’s factories and farms.”
A joint statement was released last night from United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland:
“Today, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.
“We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force.
“We would like to thank Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo for his close collaboration over the past 13 months.”
Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA, said, “We congratulate the administration on reaching this agreement with Mexico and Canada. There are lots of improvements, compared to the original trade agreement signed in 1994. We’ll be studying the full text closely, but we’re happy to see improved rules-of-origin provisions, and we believe the overall deal will lead to less offshoring of domestic production.”
Stumo believes that improved rules of origin will benefit America’s auto industry. However, he said that CPA is disappointed not to see new country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork products. And he notes that while CPA will be studying the provisions regarding currency devaluation in the agreement, America still faces trade impediments due to an overvalued US dollar. A continuing influx of foreign capital purchasing dollar assets consistently pushes the US dollar above its competitive price. CPA believes a Market Access Charge (MAC) is needed to moderate the excessive foreign capital inflows.
Other features of the USMCA include:
- Intellectual property provisions that mandate protection for pharmaceuticals and agriculture; updated patent protections; and, enforcement measures targeting piracy and counterfeit goods.
- Digital trade requirements preventing discrimination against electronic products; and, stronger protections for cybersecurity.
- An increase in de minimis shipment value levels.
- Protections for US financial service suppliers, with updates to transparency requirements.
- Currency requirements, with commitments against competitive devaluation.
- Labor practices, including rights for collective bargaining and a requirement that 40-45 percent of auto content be produced by workers earning at least $16 per hour (US dollars).
Adds Stumo, “We’ll be studying the agreement in greater detail. We appreciate the administration’s work on this issue and look forward to working with them on further efforts to boost the trade performance of America’s manufacturers and farmers.”