Last week President Trump announced a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, which he has christened USMCA — but most people refer to simply as NAFTA 2.0. President Trump understanably wants to differentiate his trade deal from the one he deemed the worst trade agreement in this country’s history, maybe ever. But many trade analysts say NAFTA 2 is not much different than NAFTA classic. One such analyst is Claude Barfield.

In this episode, we talk about the differences between the two deals: how it has improved, and the updates that make it worse (at least from a free-trade perspective). We also discuss US trade policy more generally, and close with the subject of US policy toward China.

Claude Barfield is a resident scholar at AEI, where his research focuses on international trade policy, the World Trade Organization, and science and technology policy. He is also a former consultant to the office of the US Trade Representative.

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  1. RS711 Listener

    I think its funny how people just accept that Trump has done something great with this whole new NAFTA being this huge concession to the USA. I think the best position for those of us that support free trade is to just nod and agree that this new NAFTA is good and not get into the fact that it’s pretty much the same deal as the one they tore up.

    • #1
    • October 10, 2018, at 10:52 AM PDT
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  2. Functionary Thatcher
    Functionary Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There was a lot of good information in this podcast, but I have some comments that I offer in hope that they will be accepted in the constructive spirit that they are offered:

    1. Better control of audio quality. The intro, outro, and Jim were loud; Mr. Barfield was sometimes barely audible.
    2. Mr. Barfield would have been more persuasive if he had made his points more dispassionately. I think his case was sound, but really off-putting in its tone to people who may be open to the idea that Trump has a point about those who have not been well served by globalization. Jim valiantly tried to get him to explain his reasoning, rather than merely assert his conclusions, with limited success.

    Good stuff! I learned a lot.

    • #2
    • October 10, 2018, at 5:25 PM PDT
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