Listen: Senate Is Expected To Pass USMCA With Bipartisan Support
"Right now is the impeachment. Trial moves forward in the Senate. They're also some big developments on the trade front the US Mexico candidate agreement or the US as it's known is on its way to becoming law. Aw the Senate is expected to pass. North American trade pact. Today with bipartisan support. Sending it to President Trump's desk this comes just a day after phase one trade agreement between the United it states and China was signed at the White House I want to start with NPR chief. Economics correspondent Scott horsely. Scott Good Morning David. Do you mind if you can't just giving us a sense of what is in this. The new agreement that it's being dubbed his Nafta two point. Oh yeah some ca updates the original Nafta to cover things like digital commerce that barely existed existed. When the deal was I signed a quarter century ago at the insistence of House Democrats It also includes stronger protections for Labor and the environment especially in Mexico. Texaco the biggest change to Nafta though is in the automobile sector where this deal requires cars and trucks to include more North American content in order to qualify for duty duty free status and it also says a wage standard that could result in some auto production shifting from Mexico back to the United States. Let's stick with us if you don't mind I I want to bring in another voice here. It's Neil Bradley To talk about the impact this could have on the US economy. He's executive vice president and Chief Policy Officer at the US Chamber of Commerce. Thanks thanks for being here this morning. Thanks for having me David. Does the Chamber think this is a good deal for American businesses. It is for reasons that Scott outlined it makes significant improvements on on things like digital trade that didn't exist before for the first time ever as a chapter on small businesses. There's one hundred twenty thousand small businesses in America who send goods services to Canada and Mexico. So this is good for them. Most importantly however there are twelve million American jobs that are in part supported by trade between Dr Three countries. In getting this deal done passing through the Senate today getting it signed by the president provides certainty for those twelve million Americans. Is there anything that businesses businesses might lose with the end of Nafta since this is now going to be replacing that that agreement. I don't know that there's so much we lose. There are some changes. Ah You know. No deal is perfect. This isn't the deal that the US chamber would have written but on balance. It's one that enjoys bipartisan support. And perhaps that's the most important aspect about it. We've had political conflict between the two parties between business and labor over NAFTA since the ink was dry back in the early nineteen nineties this removes that uncertainty Labor Business Democrats Republicans were all bought in support of this new agreement. And that's something that we you don't see very often in Washington anymore and that's something that our economy and American workers deserve to have. which is that bipartisan? Buy In in Washington. I speaking of uncertainty. I WanNa ask you about this new phase one trade agreement with China We've been hearing already. Some doubts about whether China is actually going to buy these billions and billions of dollars more in American goods as they've committed The government is is leaving some doubts about that. Are you confident if they don't follow through on that. Could that hurt American American businesses in terms of what they were expecting here. We'll certainly and it's important that everyone live up to their commitments and especially important that the Chinese live up to their commitments in this phase. One deal Equally fact even more important than the purchases and that's good for American farmers and manufacturers is resolving some of our long standing trade trade tensions with China intellectual property theft forced technology transfers state subsidies that make the disadvantage American businesses. This this phase one deal begins to tackle some of those problems not all of them. That's why we need to phase two deal so it's especially important that in this time the Chinese to all all of their commitments that they've made as part of the steel just stepping back over the last few years of trade policy under the trump administration. All that's come with it. Scrapping deals igniting trade disputes drawn out renegotiations. On the whole. Do you think these new deals are worth the pain. That businesses manufacturers farmers workers have have felt. I so you have to look at each one individually. The President deserves credit for tackling longstanding. Problems with China You people can disagree with the tactics that got us to this point but it is really important that we finally address this these problems with neo the the world's number two largest economy You know I I think NAFTA USMC as a little bit different I think we could have gotten to where we've gotten today. Maybe without a little bit of the turmoil We'd like to see less last turmoil lessons. Certainly in our trading relationships with Europe but part of that's on both sides of the Atlantic the the Europeans are doing some things that are currently disadvantage in American businesses. Neil Bradley is Executive Vice President Chief Policy Officer at the US Chamber of Commerce. Thanks so much for your time. Thanks for having me and I want to bring back. NPR's Scott horsely Scott Sounds pretty optimistic. There the view from the chamber does that reflect. What you're hearing I mean is is optimism widespread among American businesses and elsewhere? You Know David the. US MCA THE AS GONNA make some modest changes to NAFTA and so it's expected to give a modest boost the US economy by Mo main most forecast is supposed to up GDP by maybe one third of one percent but the biggest sigh of relief. You're hearing is that. The president didn't scrap NAFTA with nothing to replace it as he had threatened to do. And that's the certainty that Mr Bradley's talking about likewise The phase one China deal would avoid some of the disruption to transpacific trade that the the trade war has brought but it still leaves steep tariffs in place on about two thirds of the stuff we buy from China. Historically free trade deals have been about lowering trade barriers in the trump era. There's also a pretty good dose of Protectionism N._p._R.. Scott horsely Scott. Thanks so much you welcome"