Welles Orr Quoted on U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal in the Wall Street Journal

"New North American Trade Deal Seen as Template for Deals to Come"

Wall Street Journal

12.14.2019

Welles Orr was quoted regarding the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The USMCA, if approved, may have implications beyond North America and eventually include bilateral deals with China, Japan, the European Union, and the U.K. Practitioners say several provisions in the trade agreement, called a "template" by White House officials, could serve as starting points for President Trump's administration to negotiate with various countries. New rules include labor protections in Mexico, which may curb U.S. employers from sending jobs overseas where labor costs less. "Much-less-developed countries will naturally have labor issues," Orr said, adding that in the future the U.S. might say "this language we negotiated in the USMCA will be the future template for how we treat other developing or underdeveloped countries." One area where the USMCA doesn't work as a template is the Rules of Origin, requiring automobiles to have 75 percent of their content come from within North America. Such rules are idiosyncratic to the North American market, Orr said, and might not have applicability elsewhere.