Latest posts by Nancy Thorner (see all)
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According to the official USTR: “Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, the United States has reached an agreement with Mexico and Canada in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a mutually beneficial win for North American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. When finalized and implemented, the agreement will create more balanced, reciprocal trade that supports high-paying jobs for Americans and grows the North American economy.” (Until there is a Congressional vote on the new, balanced USMCA agreement, NAFTA remains in effect.)
USMCA was released early on October 1, 2018 on the USTR website for the public to read. As to the size and scope of USMCA, the government site lists all 34 chapters and their annexes. In total, the USMCA is a whopping 1,809 pages —1,572 pages for the treaty itself, 214 pages for annexes, and 23 pages for side letters. In comparison, NAFTA was over 1,700 pages long — 741 pages for the treaty itself, 348 pages for annexes, and 619 pages for additional footnotes and explanation.
Should the mammoth size of the agreement set off alarm bells that much more is involved than “free trade”? Obamacare was likewise a mammoth-sized agreement to which Nancy Pelosi said at the time, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Stated highlights include:
- Creating a more level playing field for American workers, including improved rules of origin for automobiles, trucks, other products, and disciplines on currency manipulation.
- Benefiting American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses by modernizing and strengthening food and agriculture trade in North America.
- Supporting a 21st Century economy through new protections for U.S. intellectual property, and ensuring opportunities for trade in U.S. services.
President Trump in a Rose Garden signing of USMCA on November 30, 2018 said: “This is a terrific deal, for all of us. Once approved by Congress, this new deal will be the most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country, with the most advanced protections for workers ever developed.”
An April 2019 headline on the website of the White House claimed that “USMCA will boost economic growth and create jobs.” Big business has gotten behind it with large marketing campaigns from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many GOP politicians are on board to pass it.
Similarly, Democratic lawmakers Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and then House Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi heaped praise on the agreement when speaking to reporters after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2018.
Might USMCA have a downside?
In that USMCA is promoted as a “free trade” agreement, big business has also gotten behind it with large marketing campaigns from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Many GOP politicians are also on board to pass it, but might they not know the true nature of USMCA? As true with so many “free trade agreements” before it, the USMCA seems subordinate to the WTO, which is referenced nearly 90 times throughout the agreement?
Christian Gomez, a contributor to The New American magazine, wrote two articles for the New American in which he questions whether USMCA is really a “big win” for America? As Gomez suggests, “Heralded as a replacement for the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the “new” United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) accelerates the globalist’s longstanding agenda for regional integration and eventual world government under the guise of ‘free trade.'”
In his two New American articles Mr. Gomez takes a deep thorough dive into the text of the USMCA agreement to find what’s really in the agreement and how it would affect our nation’s sovereignty.
Following are some of the finding cited by Gomez in his articles as to why NAFTA is a deeply flawed treaty and would undermine American sovereignty. They seem worthy of consideration.
From Article 1: What’s Wrong With the USMCA? by Christian Gomez , published in New American on Monday, November 5, 2018 (The hyperlinks were added for clarification.):
- Among some of the new chapters included in the USMCA that were not in the original 1994 NAFTA are Chapter 23 on labor and Chapter 24 on the environment.
- Article 23.3 of the USMCA’s Chapter 23 on Labor obligates each country to “adopt and maintain in its statutes and regulations, … the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.” It is unclear how such provisions could conflict with states that have “right-to-work laws,” potentially opening the door to their abolition or repeal either through the USMCA’s implementation legislation or a future decision from a USMCA dispute resolution panel.
- In the case of the auto industry, at least 40 percent of automobiles made in North America will have to be made by workers earning a minimum of $16 per hour, which is significantly higher than the current average wages for autoworkers in Mexico.
- Although the USMCA does not include a separate chapter on gender-related issues, as was originally outlined among Canada’s goals, such language is sprinkled throughout the labor chapter, further advancing the LGBTQ agenda. For example, under “Sex-Based Discrimination in the Workplace,” in the USMCA’s labor chapter, all three countries are required to promote and “implement policies” protecting “gender identity.”
- Under Article 23.12, all three countries agree to cooperate on “addressing gender-related issues in the field of labor and employment,” as well as on “addressing the opportunities of a diverse workforce, including: … promotion of equality and elimination of employment discrimination in the areas of age, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity … and protection of migrant workers.”
- Chapter 23 of the USMCA could also serve as a beachhead for a cross-border migration invasion similar to that experienced in the European Union. In language that is virtually identical to that found in the TPP, Article 17.5 of Chapter 17 of the USMCA states: “No party shall adopt or maintain … a measure that … imposes a limitation on … the total number of natural persons that may be employed in a particular financial service sector or that a financial institution or cross-border service supplier may employ … in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test.”
- Provisions from USMCA’s Chapters 17 and 23 have the potential to undermine President Trump’s border security measures and further open our nation’s borders. Article 23.8 on “Migrant Workers” requires each country to “ensure that migrant workers are protected under its labor laws, whether they are nationals or non-nationals” of the country they are residing in.
From Article 2: USMCA steppingstone to an EU-style North American Union by Chrstian Gomez, published in New American on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 (Hyperlink added for clarification.):
- Under Article 32.10, if either the United States, Mexico, or Canada pursues a free trade agreement with a “non-market country,” or country with which neither has signed an FTA, they are required to inform the two other USMCA countries at least three months prior to commencing such negotiations. Upon request of any one of the other two USMCA countries, the country pursuing an FTA with the designated “non-market country” is required to “provide as much information as possible regarding the objectives for those negotiations. This includes providing the full text of the FTA to the other USMCA countries, no later than 30 days before it is signed.
- Article 32.I0.5 stipulates that if one or both of the other USMCA countries objects to the one’s new FTA with a “non-market country,” it may formally withdraw from the USMCA, thereby cutting off preferred access of its markets to the USMCA country that entered into the FTA with the “non-market country. This disincentive virtually establishes a de facto unanimous-approval requirement by all three countries if any one wishes to pursue a new FTA with a country with which none of the three has signed an FTA. Projecting the lines, this “non-market country” disincentive may spawn the establishment of a North American Customs Union with common tariff rates among all three countries for non-market countries
USMCA not a done deal
As reported on November 20, 2019, the trade deal intended to replace NAFTA hangs in the balance as Mexican attempts to reform their labor unions undergo scrutiny. According to Jesus Seade, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister, said the countries had some remaining areas of disagreement.
View here: YouTube presentation: USMCA: What They Are Not Telling You About USMCA.
Read here: 5 Reasons why USMCA Won’t Pass Easily, Feb.21, 2019.
Read here: Trump’s Trade Deal Steals a Page From Democrats’ Playbook, Dec.1, 2019.
Might President Trump not have been informed or well advised of all the negative aspects of USMCA? He certainly could not have read the massive document.
Might it be true as Christian Gomez shared in his New American article of Tuesday July 23, 2019: USMCA steppingstone to an EU-style North American Union?
“If we Americans are to preserve our God-given rights — afforded by our national sovereignty — then we must convince Congress to reject the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is a steppingstone toward an EU-style North American Union.”
[Originally Published at Illinois Review]