NAFTA 2.0: Access to Medicines

One of the goals of this blog has been to facilitate an understanding of the backlash against the global trading system.  That system is characterized by a broad set of rules that are complex — opaque, even — with which few are familiar, even many of those staunchly defending the status quo.  An improved understanding…

NAFTA 2.0: The Environment Chapter

Although the Trump Administration is no friend of environmental groups, the current U.S. Trade Representative has, as we have noted before, enforced environmental provisions under the U.S-Peru trade agreement.  In that context, it is not as surprising as it might otherwise be that the NAFTA 2.0 environmental chapter contains new, positive provisions. However, on the whole,…

NAFTA 2.0: The Labor Chapter

To those outside the trade world, it might seem like a foregone conclusion that the Trump Administration’s renegotiation of NAFTA would contain provisions hostile to, rather than supportive of, organized labor.  However, trade has been the anomaly in this Administration.  As we have pointed out before, the President has consistently borrowed Democratic talking points on…

NAFTA 2.0: On Sunsets

NAFTA 2.0 includes what many consider a novel provision:  a sunset clause.  That is, the agreement will terminate in 16 years unless all three parties agree to extend it. When the United States first proposed the concept of a sunset for the agreement, the reaction was to treat it akin to heresy.  A disagreement between…

Trade Promotion Authority: Is it Binding?

With the conclusion of the NAFTA renegotiation, the next step in the United States is Congressional consideration.  The assumption is that the agreement will be considered pursuant to Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and there are some questions as to whether the Administration has complied with TPA.  For example, TPA requires consultations with members “upon request,”…

Getting Rid of the “Sophie’s Choice” Between American Agriculture and American Manufacturing

As the Trump Administration continues to borrow the Democratic message that globalization has left American manufacturing workers behind, some of our trade partners have chosen to retaliate by targeting American agricultural workers.  As we rightly focus on whether our farmers will be hurt, however, it is important to recall the degree to which our trade agreements…

The Mad Dash to Deem Trade Agreements “Progressive”

2018 seems to be the year of the Progressive trade agreement.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been renamed the “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership” (CPTPP).  Canada has floated proposals in the NAFTA renegotiation that it has advertised as progressive. Why? Populists in 2016 reminded us that trade agreements are inherently not progressive.  Economic theory…