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U.S., Canada and Mexico sign trade agreement to replace NAFTA Updated: 2019-12-12 13:56:58 KST

Replacing the quarter-century-old trade pact NAFTA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement includes changes that aim to strengthen labor laws and keep down prices for biologic drugs by eliminating a patent provision.

"Not only does it preserve essential cross border supply chains but it significantly increases worker's rights and levels the playing field for workers across North America.''

The negotiation is a victory for all three nations but also for President Trump who has long blamed NAFTA for the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs.

"The new deal satisfies President Trump in the way that Mexican markets will now be more open while the U.S. markets are still protected such as producing a certain amount of the automobiles in North America. Also, it's a great step for Trump who is facing a formal impeachment inquiry ahead of the upcoming U.S. election next November."

According to experts, the new deal's direct impact on South Korea will be limited.
Korean auto companies have much smaller operations in Mexico than the U.S. and Japanese auto firms so there's not much impact on Korea.
However, the USMCA still has significance as it will now serve as an appropriate example that guides the global trade order with its higher trade standards.

"The USMCA is a sophisticated deal with trade standards that are much higher and more advanced than expected such as the term for intellectual property rights being extended to 75 years whereas it remains 70 years under U.S.-Korea FTA."

The USMCA comes a year after U.S. Democrats insisted on major changes to the parts on labor and environmental enforcement before voting on it.
With Mexico ratifying the original USMCA in June, Canada will follow suit, and the fresh USMCA should pass U.S. Congress under the Democrats' agreement.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News.
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