I totally get it that you don't want to see any success from this administration, from today's LA Times:
The agreement includes a dozen new chapters, including on labor and the environment, which in the original pact were mere side agreements. There are fresh or expanded sections on digital trade, financial services, state-owned enterprises and intellectual property.
Analysts noted that some new portions were borrowed from or built on provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade pact completed by President Obama that Trump promptly killed when he became president. The U.S., Canada and Mexico were part of that Pacific Rim accord.
Lighthizer acknowledged as much in a briefing with reporters Monday, joined by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who helped mediate the trade talks. But Lighthizer said "our agreement is substantially better" than the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
U.S. negotiators delivered some solid gains for U.S. farmers, particularly by prying open a little more of Canada's tightly controlled dairy market, especially dry milk. And Canada also bent to U.S. demands for 10 years of patent exclusivity protection for biologic drugs, two more years than what was negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Drugmakers sought the longer exclusivity term, but consumer advocates argued that the extended period would hurt patients by delaying the marketing of generic drugs. U.S. negotiators also delivered solid gains in IP and copyright protections that were not in NAFTA
"There's a spirited debate going on in Canada, but the overall sentiment is relief that there's a deal to be done," said Daniel Ujczo, an international trade lawyer who specializes in Canada-U.S. affairs at the law firm Dickinson Wright.
Ujczo said the Trump administration was never "red in tooth and claw" about radically transforming NAFTA in the first place. That was a false narrative, he said. "The reality was they wanted to renovate the agreement." Ujczo said the big win for Trump was political.
Perhaps the single biggest and most innovative change came in auto rules, which took up the largest amount of negotiating time. The auto industry welcomed a deal that included all three countries, fearing a breakup of NAFTA would devastate long-built supply chains that cut across borders. Trump had threatened to proceed with Mexico alone if an agreement with Canada could not be reached by Sunday.
The provision requiring 75% of a vehicle's content be produced in North America to qualify for tariff-free trade -- up from 62.5% -- and a new requirement that 40% to 45% of a vehicle's content must be produced by workers making at least $16 an hour are likely to help lure auto manufacturing to the U.S.
Lighthizer consulted closely with both parties during the yearlong negotiations and said Monday that he believed the deal would get significant support. Many congressional Democrats have been critical of NAFTA, blaming it for spurring offshoring of jobs to Mexico, with its low wages and poor labor rights.
The labor provisions in the new agreement -- including some to bolster workers' organizing rights in Mexico -- "are more progressive than ever negotiated by anybody else," Lighthizer said.
Analysts agreed that the labor chapter in the new agreement is stronger than those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. "Added protections for working people and some reductions in special privileges for global companies is a good start" Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said in a statement.