The USMCA contains provisions that improve scientifically based trade standards between the three nations, which serve as the basis for health and plant health measures for ag products, as well as advances in geographic indications. The USMCA is also the first free trade agreement that deals with cooperation, information exchange and other trade rules on biotechnology and gene processing. There have been many technological advances over the past 20 years, particularly in the agricultural sector. Unfortunately, with this progress, the NAFTA provisions were out of date and the agreement quickly became obsolete. In particular, the chapter has the strongest trade secrets protection of a previous U.S. trade agreement. It includes all the following safeguards against the misuse of trade secrets, including by state-owned enterprises: civil proceedings and remedies, criminal proceedings and sanctions, prohibitions on obstruction of the licensing of trade secrets, judicial proceedings to prevent the disclosure of trade secrets during the judicial proceedings and sanctions against government officials for unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets. The updated chapter on financial services contains commitments to liberalize financial services markets and facilitate a level playing field for U.S. financial institutions, investors and investments in financial institutions, as well as cross-border financial services exchanges. The chapter also retains the discretion of financial supervisors to ensure financial stability. But other economists, including Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), have pointed out that increased trade is paying off the U.S. economy. Some jobs are lost because of imports, others are created and consumers benefit greatly from lower prices and often improved product quality.
Your 2014 PIIE study on the impact of NAFTA revealed a net loss of about 15,000 jobs per year as a result of the pact – but gains of about $450,000 for each job lost, in the form of higher productivity and lower consumer prices. The revision of NAFTA to the USMCA was absolutely necessary and could not have come at a better time. Agriculture is evolving rapidly and progressing with new conservation measures, advances in genetic modification, geographic indicators and many other technological advances.