OttawaU Study Finds 57 Percent of USMCA Copied From TPP


Adjunct Professor Matthew Gold remarked on a new study that examines the extreme similarities between the Trump Administration’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which President Trump has referred to as “the worst trade deal in history.”

Comparing the USMCA to existing free trade agreements, researchers found: “The USMCA closely tracks the structure and text of the TPP. 29 out of 30 TPP chapters have equivalents in the USMCA and 72 percent of the articles in the matched USMCA chapters are found in both agreements.” In other words, not only are many of the chapter titles identical, but so are the various articles and clauses contained in them. “Furthermore, when looked at in the context of all U.S. trade agreements, the USMCA and TPP, based on their textual similarity, appear as belonging to the same generation of treaties. In other words, the USMCA, contrary to Trump’s rhetoric, does not mark a fundamental rupture in U.S. practice and has more in common with the TPP than not,” the study stated. Conducting a high-level textual analysis of the text of the USMCA compared to previous trade agreements, the researchers found that the USMCA “continues rather break with existing practice.” This runs in stark contrast to claims by both Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the USMCA represents a “new paradigm shift” in the way the United States will conduct future trade agreements.

Speaking on the same program, Fordham Law Professor Matthew Gold elaborated how Trump’s “big win” in regard to the USMCA/NAFTA renegotiations with Canada comes directly from the TPP. “He got a large number of small updates most of which were in the TPP agreement, which he pulled out of. He got us back to a small increased access in the Canadian dairy market, almost all of which was in the TPP,” Gold said.

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