Oct 1, 2018

Breaking down the rapid NAFTA rebrand

Illustration:Rebecca Zisser/Axios

It's been about 16 hours since North America agreed on a rebranded NAFTA, and we're starting to get a sense of what's actually in the deal.

Why it matters: Rather than opening another front in a broader trade war, negotiators have secured modest changes that preserve the free trade status quo in North America.

What Trump is saying: “For 25 years as a civilian, as a businessman, I used to say: How could anybody sign a deal like NAFTA?"

  • "Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be talking about a deal... Just for those babies out there that keep talking about tariffs.”

Between the lines: "[USMCA] makes a series of changes to areas like intellectual property and the digital economy, including protections for patents and domain names," the N.Y. Times' Alan Rappeport reports.

  • "[I]t's state of the art, this will be the best in the world. This will be our model going forward," Trump trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer told reporters today.

Where each side wins:

  • U.S. wins: Canada opens up its dairy market and its wine rules. More auto parts must be produced in North American factories, along with more built by labor that makes more than $16/hour. Nothing preventing future aluminum and steel tariffs. Strengthens copyright protections for U.S. creatives. Lowers border crossing duty thresholds.
  • Canada wins: Protected from U.S. auto tariffs. Long sunset clauseof 16 years (U.S. wanted 5). Retained 2 of 3 NAFTA provisions allowing dispute panels with other 2 countries. 
  • Mexico wins: Protected from U.S. auto tariffs. Long sunset clause of 16 years (U.S. wanted 5).

The bottom line: If Congress signs off, NAFTA 2.0 allows Trump to enter the midterms with a major win on trade, without the pain of a trade war next door.

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.