After more than a year of intense negotiations, Canada, Mexico and the United States have agreed on a trilateral trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, a nearly 25-year-old pact that has been excoriated by U.S. President Donald Trump as the “worst trade deal ever.” While the leaders of all three countries applauded the new agreement — Trump with typical hyperbole called it “the most modern, up-to-date and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country” — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is in fact a revised version of NAFTA, leavened with dollops of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The new deal should not prove disruptive to existing trade — good news for Japanese automobile manufacturers that invested heavily in NAFTA — but the negotiating process is worrying. The U.S. bluffed and bullied, setting a troubling precedent for future trade talks, and one that Japan must prepare for as Tokyo commences negotiations with Washington as recently agreed.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.