The North American trade pact signed last year will have a “moderate” positive effect on the US economy, an independent US government report said Thursday, an underwhelming endorsement as it faces an uncertain path to ratification. And the trade deal could actually dent the US auto sector, increasing employment but raising prices while reducing sales and manufacturing output, according the US International Trade Commission. The report was released as President Donald Trump’s administration instead unveiled rosy projections that the new trade deal would actually cause a boom in auto sector investment, generating tens of billions in new investments and more than 70,000 new jobs. After a year of tough negotiations, Washington, Ottawa and Mexico City in November signed a new continent-wide trade deal to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and revamp rules on manufacturing, digital commerce and labor rights, among other areas. But the boost to the US economy “is likely to be moderate,” given that most tariffs were already dropped region-wide 25 years ago and because the United States economy is much larger than those of Mexico and Canada, according to the US International Trade Commission. Under the model used by the US ITC, total US… Read full this story
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