The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board on Tuesday criticized President Trump over the trade deal he announced Monday with Mexico, calling it “notably worse in many ways” than the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The editorial board pointed to the exclusion of Canada from the deal as one of its shortcomings. The U.S. and Canada are still in negotiations.
To break up the current three-country trade agreement, Trump would need approval from Congress, something he is unlikely to get.
Another problem with the deal reached Monday, according to the Journal’s editorial board, is that it strips protections from most U.S. investors in Mexico. The editorial board also criticized the deal for imposing “new red tape and costs” on the auto industry, noting that the deal says that cars sold in North America need to have 75 percent of their content made there to avoid tariffs.
“This is politically managed trade, and its economic logic is the opposite of Mr. Trump’s domestic deregulation agenda,” the Journal wrote.
The upsides to the deal, in the Journal’s eyes, are that it “includes an extension on data protection for biologic drugs to 10 years from five” and it steps “back from its demand for a five-year ‘sunset’ that was essentially a backdoor way to dampen cross-border investment.”
Trump announced the deal from the White House on Monday, calling it a “big day for trade.”
Trump also cast doubt Monday on whether Canada would be included in a renegotiated deal. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for negotiations.
“The deal announced Monday has moving parts and there is still time to make improvements before it is signed and sent to Congress,” the Journal’s editorial board wrote. “We’re glad to see Mr. Trump step back from the suicide of Nafta withdrawal, but on the public evidence so far his new deal is worse.”
BY MICHAEL BURKE – 08/28/18