Dec 12, 2019

Business groups express growing dissatisfaction with USMCA compromise

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal announce the USMCA compromise. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Fed chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the new U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada should remove some trade policy uncertainty, and that it's a positive factor for the economy.

Yes, but: However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups have been registering their unhappiness with the trade deal in recent days.

Why it matters: For most of the year, groups have been universally calling on Congress to pass the agreement. Now that the deal is near the finish line, it's facing mounting opposition.

What they're saying: "We are seriously disappointed by the removal of certain intellectual property provisions," Thomas J. Donohue, the Chamber's CEO, said in a statement. He specifically pointed to reduced protections for prescription drugs.

  • "USMCA is a step back from NAFTA and will yield limited economic gains," said Daniel Griswold, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The agreement will raise "prices for US families in the market for a new car or light truck, while reducing sales and exports of the domestic US auto industry."
  • The left-leaning think tank EPI said the revised deal "constitutes Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process."

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