New Free Trade Agreement for North America Comes – Economy


Even the unions welcome the agreement. Among other things, the pact now includes stricter rules for workers' rights and environmental protection, spokeswoman for the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, told reporters Tuesday.
The USMCA agreement for the US, Mexico and Canada will now be ratified by Parliament shortly. It will replace the North American Free Trade Pact Nafta, which was signed in 1994. "There is no question that this agreement is better than Nafta," Pelosi said. USMCA also included stronger mechanisms for enforcing the agreed standards.
"We are celebrating a victory for American workers today," said Pelosi. The original text proposed by the government was unacceptable. The head of the union confederation AFL-CIO Richard Trumka welcomed the agreement. Workers could be proud of it, he said.

500 million people affected

The agreement affects nearly 500 million people and covers an area with a total economic output of around $ 23 trillion. The partner countries exchanged goods and services worth around $ 1.4 trillion in 2018.
A treaty supplement with the post-trade points was signed on Tuesday at the Mexican National Palace. The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Trump consultant and suicide son Jared Kushner traveled to Mexico City.
The trade agreement largely builds on Nafta but includes new regulations for the auto industry, better access to markets in neighboring countries for US farmers and includes provisions for the protection of intellectual property and digital commerce. The latter played hardly any role 25 years ago. Now, for example, electronically distributed books, music, games and software may be traded duty-free.
USMCA also sets new limits on the percentage by which a car must be manufactured in one of the member countries in order to be exported duty-free. This will also affect German companies such as Volkswagen or BMW, which produce in North America.
Another part is that 40 to 45 percent of the parts needed for a car are made by workers earning at least $ 16 an hour. In this way, Trump wants to make it less attractive to relocate jobs to Mexico. The intended strengthening of workers' rights also aims to do so.
"This is one of the best deals ever concluded for this country," the US president said on Monday. "It is a very important agreement." Trump had rejected his predecessor, Nafta, because he felt the agreement had too many disadvantages for the US, especially in agriculture and the auto industry. Trump therefore suspended the renegotiation. She was on the verge of failure several times.

A bone of contention in politics

USMCA has also been a bone of contention in US politics for months. Trump accused the Democrats of not doing anything for the people of America, focusing only on baseless investigations against him.
For the Democrats, on the other hand, it was a balancing act: they actually wanted to bring the agreement through parliament, but had to give the government as many concessions as possible so that they would not make Trump a big victory a year before the presidential election. Meanwhile, US Trade Representative Lighthizer voted in favor of the changes demanded by Congress with Canada and Mexico.
Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was pleased with the changes. Lopez Obrador said that in addition to labor law and the environment, the changes also affected steel and aluminum trade.
The heads of state and government of the three countries had originally signed the USMCA contract at the end of last year on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Mexico has already ratified the agreement as the only one of the three countries. Parliament should now also agree to the addendum.
US Vice President Mike Pence, who has been particularly keen on enforcing the agreement, said on Tuesday USMCA shows that since the beginning of his term, President Trump "is fighting for trade agreements that prioritize American jobs and workers." The abbreviation USMCA stands for "United States Mexico Canada Agreement".

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