Foreign Policy

Here's What The US Gets Out Of Trump's NAFTA Renegotiations

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have signed on to a revamped version of NAFTA with victories for everyone involved.

Here's What The US Gets Out Of Trump's NAFTA Renegotiations
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Trump: "This new deal will be the most modern, up-to-date and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country."

President Trump is making good on his campaign pledge to renegotiate NAFTA. Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have all signed on to a reworked version of the old trade deal, with new benefits for everyone involved.

The new agreement, known as the United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA, has a lot of wins for U.S. auto workers. Under the new rules, only cars that are 75 percent made in North America will qualify to escape tariffs, up from 62 percent under NAFTA.

What's more, a substantial portion of those cars has to be produced by workers earning at least $16/hour. In theory, that provision could shift some jobs out of Mexico, where the average wage in car assembly plants is under $8/hour.

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In exchange, Canada and Mexico received relief from the impending car tariffs Trump might impose. The agreement carves out quotas for both nations to export vehicles and parts to the U.S. duty-free.

Canada also agreed to allow U.S. dairy farmers to access a sliver of its highly-protected dairy market. That's a victory for U.S. dairy farmers, but could provoke some political turmoil for the Canadian government.

But Canada did manage to hang on to a NAFTA provision which lets companies challenge tariffs before a panel. The provision was particularly useful for Canadian lumber companies: they've brought several cases against U.S. softwood lumber duties, most recently in 2017.

One thing the USMCA hasn't changed is the ongoing U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum; the Trump administration says those aren't going anywhere for the time being.

The USMCA gives Trump a concrete trade victory to tout during the upcoming midterm elections. But the deal won't fully kick in until 2020 — which means its effects won't take root until the next election cycle.

This video includes reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.