From PredictIt this morning:
Someone thinks there’s a 28% chance it will be passed in the next five weeks?
Steven Kopits: Well, now it’s like 36%…
Isn’t USMCA = NAFTA 1.1? Trump yesterday said NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever made but then he said USMCA was a great trade deal. Damn – talk about a flip flop!
Pelosi Statement on Progress on USMCA
NOVEMBER 25, 2019
San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement:
“House Democrats have insisted that hard-working Americans need more from the USMCA than just the same broken NAFTA with better language but no real enforcement. The original draft of the new NAFTA agreement, while promising in some regard, still left American workers exposed to losing their jobs to Mexico, included unacceptable provisions to lock in high prescription drug prices, and fell short of key environmental standards.
“Above all, the NAFTA 2.0 draft lacked the concrete, effective enforcement mechanisms needed to ensure that the agreement became more than a list of promises on paper.
“The House Democratic Caucus is united by our values, and our priority is to make progress for America’s hard-working families. Drawing upon the values-based experience and knowledge of our Caucus, House Democrats, led by Chairman Neal, have negotiated with Trade Representative Lighthizer on changes to the USMCA draft to address the concerns of America’s working families.
“We are within range of a substantially improved agreement for America’s workers. Now, we need to see our progress in writing from the Trade Representative for final review.”
It’s dead Jim.
I have mixed feelings about Pelosi’s statement, agreeing with some of it and not with other parts of it. As it is, if Trump wanted this thing passed, he should have pushed for it last year right after it was neogotiated, probably during the lame duk session of Congress when GOP still controlled the House, and before he seriously poisoned the well with so many things. But in fact he started poisoning the well back then with his nonsense shutdown actions, which certainly made it impossible for this NAFTA + whatever number it is to get passed then, and now its chances are clearly under 50% and not likely to improve as we go into election year 2020.
As a reminder, the main changes to NAFTA involved simply adopting items agreed to by everybody for the TPP, some of which represent needed improvements and updating, but also including heightened protection for US pharma, which is not needed, and was the main benefit to other TPP natinos of the US dropping out of that.
Beyond those TPP items, the others are both negligible and not clearly in the general US (or other nations’) interest: increased opening of Candian dairy markets to US dairy, obvious payoff to Wisconsin dairy farmers) where there has been a high rate of dairy farm closures recently) and hieghtened restrictions on Mexican autos, with demands for higher pay in Mexico, maybe sort of a good thing, but with the ovwerall impact unclear given the complicated nature of auto supply chains in the NAFTA nations, and the US auto industry lacking enthusiasm for this.
In any case, pgl is right that there is not much in here with the majority of it being simply a renewal of NAFTA.
trump will continue to take a beating for being unable to complete any trade deals. i don’t think pelosi is in any rush to give him anything to gloat about. until the failure to pass this trade deal becomes a political liability for the democrats, she will continue to let trump blow in the wind on this issue. it drives him mad when a woman is viewed as standing in the way of his successes. she can egg him on for months on this issue.
Question for the room:
If USMCA is passed as currently written, including drug patenting and sales rules, does that make changes to U.S. drug patent and sales rules more difficult?
I kinda think it might.
Every Democratic presidential candidate has (I believe) proposed changes to U.S. rules. Democrats in the House may not be eager to make reform of U.S. drug pricing more difficult by codifying the current system in trade law.
If Trump tariffs Jose Cuervo to pay off some crap American tequila maker, he will have hell to pay.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Enjoy a margarita with your turkey.
I’ll drink to that! Cheers!
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