Fact or Fiction: Donald Trump Says the New NAFTA Is the Biggest Trade Deal Ever

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Donald Trump claimed on November 30 at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that the newly revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the biggest trade deal ever.

Question

Is this new trade pact really as historic as Trump claims?

Presently, the historic significance of this agreement is Trump going off script and changing the name of it to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“The USMCA is the largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history,” Trump said. “All of our countries will benefit greatly. It is probably the largest trade deal ever made, also.”

Watch the video below:

This agreement must still win approval in Congress, so this statement is very overzealous considering the insurmountable evidence.

Research

According to Politifact, the new NAFTA is very similar to the first version, which surfaced in 1994. For example, it mirrors its predecessor by covering the same three nations, which are the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Also, USMCA will preserve the structure of NAFTA by eliminating trade barriers between the three countries and increasing economic opportunities.

Nevertheless, there are a few differences in the new version that appear to favor the United States. Contrasting trade experts gave their perspectives on the new additions of this deal.

“Normally, there is some sort of balance worked out. That wasn’t the case this time,”Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Politifact. “The United States had a huge list of demands, and the Canadians and Mexicans were on the defensive.”

“One thing that is absolutely clear is if you measure the new NAFTA relative to what was already covered in NAFTA, the incremental trade covered is very small,” Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said.

Trump’s claim that the new NAFTA is the biggest trade ever is very subjective for a couple of reasons. There have been more sizable trade agreements, and the new provisions outlined in USMCA have come from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to Phil Levy, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs.

TPP, which was negotiated by the Obama administration, involved the three NAFTA nations in addition to Japan and eight other Pacific Rim countries. Also, other larger trade deals, such as the European Union and the 1994 Uruguay Round, exceeded the amount of trade created under USMCA.

Fact or Fiction?

Fiction.

Trump’s claim that the newly revised NAFTA is the biggest deal ever is simply not true based on the evidence highlighted. While Trump’s claim is subjective, the measures of this trade deal can be easily dissected by concrete facts.

Furthermore, this claim is wrong purely by virtue of the number of trade partners involved in USMCA. There is no way it can be the biggest trade deal ever if this deal doesn’t have the most trade partners ever.

We vote this claim as fiction.

What do you think?

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banstan
Member

A minute and a half of my life that I will never get back again. Good night, cameron. “There is no way it can be the biggest trade deal ever if this deal doesn’t have the most trade partners ever.” Just my personal opinion, but the total amount of money involved would make a “trade” deal the biggest trade deal ever, NOT the number of countries involved, but thanks for setting me straight on that FACT???? Also, “We vote this claim as fiction.” Just WHO is WE?

Phoenix
Member

I normally like the fact check articles, but this one is a little flat. The President exaggerates everything. That isn’t news anymore unless you have got some other bombshell.

As this article even states that the new NAFTA is better than the old, I’m not sure why there is any squabble over him saying its a big deal.

Robert Aldrich
Member

WTF is the point of this article? Just to bash Trump’s subjective nature? Cite examples other than the number of countries. Perhaps dollar amounts or number of products? Quit bashing and write something worthy. And if you are blue, write for blue, don’t infect my red space with your nonsense!

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