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Trump US, Mexico trade deal: GOP criticism mounts

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President Donald
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  • President Donald Trump announced a new bilateral trade
    agreement with Mexico on Monday.
  • The deal would rework several trade rules dealing with
    cars, intellectual property, agriculture, and more.
  • But many experts and groups have attacked the new deal,
    including some long-time Trump allies.

President Donald Trump heralded
a trade deal with Mexico
as a new day for the North American
Free Trade Agreement, but many of his top allies aren’t thrilled
by the agreement.

The deal announced by Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña
Nieto on Monday proposes to revise rules dealing with the
treatment of automobiles moving across the border, intellectual
property, and labor.

Trump called the deal “incredible” and suggested that the US
could pull out of NAFTA completely and simply move ahead with the
Mexican bilateral agreement instead of involving Canada in the
new deal.

So it’s an incredible deal,” Trump said in the Oval
Office. “It’s an incredible deal for both parties. Most
importantly, it’s an incredible deal for the workers and for the
citizens of both countries.”


(Read more:
Here’s what’s in the US-Mexico trade deal »
)

But for many of the president’s ideological allies — from
conservative think tanks to Republican lawmakers to the
influential editorial boards — the sentiment appears to be that
the deal is better than breaking NAFTA completely, but it’s not a
good deal.

Most of the critics pointed to the increased regulatory burden of
the automobile rules and possible higher costs from the stronger
labor protections, saying these provisions would increase
government’s role in the economy and prevent companies from
operating efficiently.

Here’s a rundown of some of the criticism:

  • Republican Sen. Ben Sasse: I am working through the details of the
    possible US-Mexico agreement, but there is reason to worry that
    this might be a step backward from NAFTA for American families
    –especially on fundamental issues of presumed expiration of the
    deal, and empowering government bureaucrats rather than markets
    to determine the components in cars and other goods.”

  • Business Roundtable
    , a lobbying group made of US
    CEOs:
     
    “Business Roundtable has concerns
    that today’s announcement might signal not an improvement, but
    rather a step backward by requiring a sunset provision,
    weakening investment protections and constraining access to
    dispute settlement procedures. Any final agreement with Mexico
    and Canada should expand trade, not restrict it.”
  • Simon Lester and Inu Manak, trade scholars at the free
    market
    Cato Institute
    :
    The NAFTA renegotiation has
    led to great market uncertainty, and it would be nice to get
    this all resolved. But before we applaud the completion of any
    deal, what matters most is in the details. From what we know at
    the moment, those details suggest that NAFTA may have been made
    worse, not better.
  • The
    right-leaning Wall
    Street Journal
    editorial
    board:
     
    The
    deal announced Monday has moving parts and there is still time
    to make improvements before it is signed and sent to Congress.
    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.”
  • The
    Bloomberg
    editorial
    board
    Rebranding NAFTA is better than pulling it
    apart — but if this
    modified accordwith Mexico is the best Trump can do, it
    would have been less disruptive, and better for the US economy,
    to have left well enough alone.”
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