Experts Available: USMCA

Strategic Communications Associate

This Wednesday, January 29th, President Trump will sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement into law. If you're looking for expertise on the agreement, how it differs from NAFTA, and what it could mean for the economies of all three countries, these scholars are available and ready to comment. 

USMCA

City University of New York

"While the congressional ratification of the USMCA is a promise of continuity and stability in the North American region, those who hope it will mean more favorable outcomes for the environment, labor rights, or jobs may be disappointed. Just like the original NAFTA deal, this one was hammered out behind closed doors and meets the specifications of big corporations. The 99% in all three countries were closed out of the negotiation and shouldn't expect to gain much of use from this deal."

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"While some organized labor groups complain that the USMCA doesn’t address offshoring in industries other than automobiles – indeed, part of the expected benefit to US firms is continued supply chain efficiency – the agreement does include wage-based limitations in the automobile sector. And the USMCA negotiating process included reforms to Mexico’s labor law. It remains to be seen how well these reforms will be implemented in practice, but the new 'rapid response mechanism' (to complaints of labor rights violations) may offer an improvement over NAFTA in this respect."

Phillips Exeter Academy

"The USMCA is a victory for all three parties - an explicitly political victory for President Trump and a vehicle for economic stability and investment in Canada and Mexico. For Canada and the U.S. in particular, the agreement is a concrete expression of the "intangibles" that have driven their relationship for 150 years."

University of Pittsburgh

"That U.S. labor leaders like Richard Trumka endorsed the USMCA says a lot about provisions for workers. Yet weaknesses remain. For example, provisions intended to increase auto production and jobs in the US and Canada may lead firms to automate production (or move entirely offshore) instead of paying higher labor costs."

University of Notre Dame

“The USMCA that President Trump will sign is a much improved version of the weak one he negotiated over a year ago. The new version is a result of labor unions, environmental organizations, consumer organizations, and Democratic members of Congress demanding stronger protections for workers, consumers, and the environment — and winning. They eliminated most investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, strengthened labor protections across the continent, and ensured the pharmaceutical companies cannot gouge consumers for certain types of life-saving medicine. Although it should in no way be seen as a perfect model for future free trade agreements, it is arguably the best fair trade activists have achieved."

Katheryn (Kadee) Russ
University of California, Davis

Email: [email protected]

“The shift toward unilateralism involves costs for U.S. households, dampens macroeconomic growth, and has implications for national security in the future. At the same time, the country must consider how to address the real challenges faced by communities struggling in the face of broader shifts in economic activity.”