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Christine McDaniel

Articles by Christine McDaniel

Economic Implications for the United States of a North America without NAFTA or USMCA

May 21, 2019

President Trump has stated that he intends to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if Congress does not approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Evaluating both the legal possibility and the economic effect of this action is difficult. There is profound disagreement in the United States on the extent of executive power. International trade is governed by a complex web of multilateral, regional, and bilateral agreements. Withdrawing from NAFTA without ratifying the USMCA would have potential ripple effects as other agreements will fill the vacuum created by the end of a regional trading arrangement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
While acknowledging that NAFTA remains in force if the USMCA is not ratified, this

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Once A Role Model, US Sets Dangerous Example On Trade

March 22, 2019

U.S. leadership on trade once set an example that helped lower barriers to international commerce, as other countries followed the world’s largest economy into the global trading system. But President Trump’s use of a national security loophole to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports now sets a bad example that other countries may follow.
Global trade rules recognize that it is each country’s sovereign right to look out for its own interests. If a country truly believes that an imported good threatens its national security, then its government should be free to restrict those imports. President Trump recently invoked the national security justification for steel and aluminum tariffs. But the grounds for those actions appear shaky at best, and at worst are a thinly veiled excuse for

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Pulling Back The Reins Of Trade Power

February 11, 2019

Christine McDaniel writes on the power of the President to set trade policy and tariffs, and the efforts to bring those powers back to Congress, which originally gave them up during the Great Depression.
Read the article at Forbes.

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The Trade Issue Nobody Is Talking About

January 2, 2019

Most U.S. trade talk these days is about tariffs — the steel and aluminum tariffs, the China tariffs and maybe even soon-to-take-shape auto tariffs. But that talk has obscured an issue that may be even more important in global trade: digital flows of data and information across borders. 
Digital flows are essential to today’s commerce, yet they’re threatened by new restrictions being imposed by other countries. By focusing so much of our attention on tariffs, we have left a void that may be filled with more harmful protectionism…
Continue reading: The Trade Issue Nobody Is Talking About

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The De Minimis Provision in USMCA

December 7, 2018

The term de minimis is Latin for “about minimal things.” Traditionally, imports of low-value items have been considered too trivial to merit customs consideration. Goods coming across the border valued below the de minimis threshold (DMT) are typically charged no duties and are subjected to minimal clearance procedures and data requirements. Shipments valued above the threshold can be subject to duties, taxes, time-consuming clearance procedures, and burdensome regulations.
As cross-border e-commerce activity has increased in recent years (see figure 1), so too have parcel deliveries. Consequently, the DMT has taken on increased importance in international trade. Time-consuming and burdensome clearance procedures for low-value parcels can be costly for governments, consumers, and

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NAFTA 2.0's 'Poison Pill' Is a Needed Dose of Trade Medicine

October 25, 2018

The pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), informally known as “NAFTA 2.0,” includes what Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross characterized as a “poison pill.”
The provision requires parties to inform one another of their intention to enter into free-trade agreement negotiations with a nonmarket economy … with an eye toward China.
Secretary Ross’ characterization ruffles the feathers of some who say the provision limits USMCA trade partner choices. But it actually just reflects Washington’s desire to address persistent trade issues that namely pertain to China…
Continue reading: NAFTA 2.0’s ‘Poison Pill’ Is a Needed Dose of Trade Medicine
Photo credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office/Wikimedia Commons

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