'NAFTA lite': Trump and Democrats' trade deal is similar to pact president mocked as 'worst ever'
Added 12-11-19 07:04:03am EST - “President Donald Trump promised to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, once he took office. Instead, he mostly patched it up.” - News.yahoo.com
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump relentlessly ridiculed the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada as the “worst trade deal ever” when he was running for office and promised to rip it up if he was elected.
The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as the USMCA, that is supposed to replace NAFTA – and which appears headed for congressional approval following a deal this week between Trump and House Democrats – is in many ways similar to its quarter-century-old predecessor.
“The president didn’t rip up NAFTA, nor is this just a rebranding of NAFTA with the Trump and House Democrats’ names on it,” said Daniel Ujczo, an international trade attorney in Ohio.
Instead of demolishing NAFTA and starting over, “it’s a renovation of North American trade,” Ujczo said. “We put a fresh coat of paint on about 60 percent of the deal, so we kept what worked in the original NAFTA. But we have upgraded some applications and fixtures in terms of the technology chapters and customs chapters. And then we knocked down some walls.”
Democrats, labor groups and other critics mocked the new trade proposal as “NAFTA lite” when Trump announced the agreement last year after more than a year of talks with Mexico and Canada.
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