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tv   Washington Journal David Gantz  CSPAN  July 11, 2021 3:48am-4:14am EDT

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6:30 p.m. eastern. >> washington journal continues. host: our first guest is david gantz, with -- a professor of law emeritus at the university of arizona. anchor for joining us this morning. guest: my pleasure. host: we are under, when it comes to trade concerns, something called the u.s. fda. it is the one year anniversary.
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could you remind people about not only what the new trade agreement is, but what brought on its, i guess, what led to it being created? caller: a number of forces there. basically this is a revised version of the north american free trade agreement that was in effect beginning in january, 1994. that agreement was negotiated in 1991 or 1992 and in many respects was seriously out of date. there also was a lot of political opposition to nafta on both sides of the aisle, and the previous administration, some logic that a new version would be attractive to a wide swath of members of congress, members of the public as well. host: some of the specifics of the usmca, ordinance for cars and trucks, protection for
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property, it would strengthen labor and environmental protection, would have protections for financial institutions, and increase -- what are the notables compared to the new agreement? caller: i think the most important -- guest: i think the most important issues are the incorporation, the modernization, the e*trade, the digital trade, and better to literal property, things of that sort, and some improvements in agriculture like better access to the canadian market. 74% of the u.s. fda is taken right out of nafta. it keeps in beneficial trade agreement that is going on for almost 30 years, keeping it going forward. i think we can all be grateful for that. but does make significant improvements in labor and
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mexico, and quality enforcement. host: is there a way to measure the effectiveness of the agreement? also because of the impact of the pandemic? guest: i think it is very hard to look at the agreement as changes, improvements. the three trade ministers are meeting in mexico city today, and they will talk about those issues. but by and large, the two issues, one being covid-19, which has overshadowed everything, and the second is that much of the new material is phased in over three to seven years. there are some changes that you can see. the auto industry is beginning to adjust to the new rules, but i think probably to use the phrase the jury is still out overall. because of covid-19, it is indirectly affected by the u.s.-china trade war, and there are other aspects of u.s. trade with mexico and other countries that have frankly been much more
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significant than usmca. host: if you want to ask questions about the current state of trade, 202-748-8000 free democrats, 202-748-8001 for republicans, and 202-748-8002 for independents. one of them being enforcement measures, can you talk about what happens now when the country wants to enforce these verses what happened or nafta? guest: under nafta, the enforcement mechanism -- we are talking state to state actions versus the country, which we could talk about separately -- under the nafta mechanism, it was easy for any members to stall the formation of a dispute panel indefinitely, simple by refusing to appoint panelists. under the new mechanism in usmca, there is a standing
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roster of panelists, and that means that as these cases go forward, they should be able to do so without any serious delay and get to the actual mechanism that is designed in the system. host: when it comes to the biden administration approach to usmca, how much do you think they agree with it as it currently stands? guest: i think overall there is quite a bit of agreement between the previous administration and biden on some of these issues. they are both very strongly -- they professed to be strongly interested in the increase of american jobs. the buy american focus as well. they raiment past with enormous -- the agreement passed with enormous bipartisan support in 2019. it was relatively little disagreement in the final version among democrats and
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republicans, which free-trade agreements is extremely unusual in the united states. host: trade representative katherine tai appearing before congress, in a hearing, asked about some of those disputes, as you had mentioned, as far as those countries are concerned, do the disputes within the usmca. i will play you a little bit of what she had to say and i want to get your response to them. [video clip] >> usmca is a starting point that will acknowledge climate change, aggressively address global trade issues and address the benefits to women. i will enforce the new standard, follow through on our agreement, and use the agreement to ensure that canada does, too. we are committed to using these tools. the mechanism will allow us to address wrong standing labor issues in mexico. i am proud to announce today the inaugural use of this mechanism in our request that mexico review whether workers at a
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general motors facility are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining. i commend the government of mexico for stepping in when it became aware of voting irregularities earlier this year. i am proud to partner on the shared goal of helping both mexican and american workers prevent a race to the bottom. [end video clip] host: in regards to the mexico situation, could you elaborate on her thoughts? guest: certainly a major aspect of this agreement, particularly for the democrats, is rapid response labor mechanism, which make it much more likely that mexican workers will be able to form independent unions, affect collective bargaining, and that kind of thing. in this area, i think the biden administration objectives and the mexican government's objectives are really pretty much the same, and the mexican
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government has been cooperative in trying to deal with aspects that have been put forward, including this one with the gm plant in mexico. the dispute settlement mechanism has been used in the case of candida involving the dairy market provision. limiting the activities to labor. host: under nafta, would provisions as far as getting workers in mexico, to give them the ability to unionize, would that have been a thing? guest: in theory, yes, but the agreement on labor rights that was enacted as part of nafta, was largely useless. it had no teeth. it was impossible to get to arbitration, and i don't think any of the three countries pushed hard to use it. the atmosphere has changed as well as the language. host: because you use the word rapid response, can you walk us through this rapid response? guest: you have consultations,
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and if that doesn't work, you have an arbitral panel that is put together very clear by arbitral standards. sometimes they take months or years. chosen by the parties together. you have essentially an independent fact-finding and legal analysis process that goes forward. they make a decision. if mexico doesn't follow it, than there could be trade sanctions. my guess is most of these cases will be resolved in the confrontation -- the consultation phase. the mexican government really seems sincerely committed to making this work, even though everybody knows it is going to be a long and difficult process. host: when it comes to the actual deal, usmca, what does the united states gained from this, as well as mexico and canada? guest: i think the biggest gain was the integrated economic relationship among the three countries continues, with
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virtually no major interruption. i think for the stakeholders, and those are not just investors and companies but also workers in all three of the countries, and also consumers. the most important thing would be to eliminate the uncertainty as to whether nafta would go forward in some form or another. the labor and environmental issues -- there are significant gains. in some other areas like the auto rules of origin, it is still hard to say whether there will be gains are not gains. there obviously are a number of other issues, like reduced investor protection, which some of us think is a bad idea, others are very happy about. so again, most of what was beneficial to the north american economy under nafta is still going to be true under usmca. i think for many, the most important changes are better environmental protection, even
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though the agreement does not mention climate change, and the labor mechanism. host: ralph and washington, d.c., independent line. you are on with david gantz. go at with your question or comment. caller: i just find it amazing you're talking about fair trade and fair labor laws, and the new administration just recently said open the border. they cannot make arrests going into a long bureaucratic process, which makes ice useless. we have gone from 20,000 illegals a month to 180,000. i tell you what, that is going to increase. we will end up with a couple million the year. when you talk about labor, the blue-collar worker in this country has been devastated. is he goat -- d.c. where i come from, it is hard to find a blue-collar worker in this city. there are a few, because that is
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because they have contracts. host: do you have a direct question about trade, sir? caller: that is trade. the whole issue is on immigration law, protecting workers. host: we will get a perspective from mr. gantz. guest: there obviously is a relation, and there is very good reasons why neither nafta nor the usmca try to address immigration issues directly. i think i would agree with this and many others -- this caller and many others -- that our immigration system in the u.s. needs serious reform. however, i am not really competent to discuss the detail. host: as the year anniversary takes place, the trade representative is in mexico city with meetings, with representative's from both mexico and canada. can you generalize what is on the agenda and what should be
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there? guest: i can guess what is on the agenda, and what should be there. they were discussing it yesterday in washington. i think in mexico the major focus will be on investment issues because the mexican government is extremely nationalistic and protective vest, and strongly favors that government owned entities, over private investors, some of whose interests could be harmed very seriously if the current policies are continued. so i would guess that would be at the top of the list. there are some agricultural disputes between the u.s. and mexico which might be resolved. i'm sure labor will be talked about, even though it seems to be moving forward. i would guess those are among the top issues, but clearly there could be others. we will find out tomorrow. host: the usmca, because rules
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deal with things like digital trade and intellectual property, what happens for those in those markets? what do they gain out of it because of these trade agreements? guest: much of what you see in the digital trade and e-commerce areas are rules that make it more difficult for protectionist regulations to take place. data localization, for example, is essentially band. digital entities, and the biggest ones in the world of course are american companies, want somewhat higher assurance that there will not be arbitrary regulation. what mexico is a country were of digital trade, particularly in the financial industry, is growing leaps and bounds. i think there are significant new protections for a lot of the relatively young companies in mexico that are selling banking and financial services not only to mexican citizens in mexico, but also to some americans who
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haven't had really good access to the banking system in the u.s. host: david gantz is our guest to talk about issues of trade, particularly in light of the u.s.-canada-mexico agreement. 202-748-8000 free democrats, 202-748-8001 for republicans. for independent spanning -- for independence bank, 202-748-8002. an article on monday stated that angela merkel and emmanuel macron are in favor of -- talk about what this means for the united states, if anything. guest: for the united states, it may be more atmospheric than substance. it was an agreement that was rushed through into thousand. by those who were most in favor of it, which were basically
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germany and france, and then a lot of concerns erupted because of nontraded issues, because of the treatment of muslims, because of hong kong, because of incursions in the south china sea. china's activities elsewhere -- slave labor, some would argue. it essentially has been solved by the european parliament. i think it is very important for germany to try to get it going. germany is the biggest exporter in the you come up to curly for autos, and they would very much -- in the e.u., particularly for autos, and they would much like to see further investment in china. i don't know how practical it is to assume that is going to be revived. it doesn't surprise me that germany and france are making another push after six months. host: when it comes to trade with china overall, how would
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you charge -- describe the biden administration's general approach, and how does that compare and contrast with the previous administration? guest: i think in substance there have been very few changes. the biden administration has made significant efforts over the last five months since he has been in office, to demonstrate that it would be "tough" on china, like the previous administration. i think there was -- they say it is trump that matters. there is a lot more consultation going on today, and a lot more effort to get our allies to work with a more common china policy. the $375 billion in punitive terrorists on china -- in punitive tariffs on china has not changed. the trade agreement that expires in january of next year, in many
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respects the rhetoric is quite similar to what it was, and there is certainly no indication that mr. biden, who has very broad bipartisan support in this area, is going to do everything he can to affect national security, to improve u.s. technological ability, to counter china. i don't think there have been that many changes so far. host: we have if you were off of twitter asking a question, if you could address right to work legislation, and the non-sub attacks on labor unions and the attacks on collective bargaining , what the effects are politically and economically and socially. caller: how much time do i have? the focus is on labor rights in mexico, not on labor rights in the u.s. states have right to work laws. i don't think those are going away. i'm no expert on u.s. labor
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issues, but the number of union members and nongovernmental positions has been declining in the u.s. for many, many years. i really do not feel comfortable . clearly it is a problem if you are interested in supporting workers, but i am not at all sure what the solutions are in a situation where the american states have pretty much done their own thing. host: when it comes to the political aspect that we talked about earlier, steve on twitter said that with everything that has happened today, many more in mexico that many workers in mexico have organized as a result. guest: there is a process going on for the full year and may be before that you have thousands of businesses in mexico. most of them have their own labor unions. the typical practice in the past has been you have a union which was strongly connected to one of the older political parties, and they have sweetheart deals with management, and the workers for
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all practical purpose were excluded from the process. you could look at a lack of transparency, corruption, all sorts of things. there is a process going on where the entire union structure is going to be realized, and the old unions will be replaced. the union supporters have a lot of -- the union members have a lot of supporters. my guess is the issue with the gm plant is a result favorably from a labor point of view, and there a couple others -- there are a couple of others as well. these changes are going to take place. i'm guessing we're talking about three to five years at least before you see a major shift in the way collective bargaining and the independent unions work in mexico. host: our guest wrote a book on the topic of usmca, the introduction to the united states-mexico-candida agreement,
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understanding the new nafta. can the average person get -- guest: i did my best to write clearly, and in basic terms. it is not a book that is for the technically oriented. if you are in the auto industry and you want to understand the auto rules of origin, you are not going to learn the details from me. so i'm hoping that it is useful to the general public so you don't have to be a lawyer or economist to understand what i'm saying. but it is always hard to know from the author's point of view how that is working. host: one of the things we talked about is the idea of trade adjustment assistance. it is nuanced. but can you describe to the audience what that is and why it is important to discuss trade? guest: it is extremely
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important. workers displaced by trade agreements or internal outside trade -- it could be american workers as a result of nafta or american workers as a result of changes in our relationship with china over the last 20-plus years. the idea is you have funds for adjustment for retraining to try to cushion the blow. as everyone likes to say in the trade bureaucracy, there are winners and losers when you have expanded trade. in the u.s. over the last one he five or 30 years there have been a lot of losers, particularly with some of the blue-collar workers as one of the callers was talking about earlier. it hasn't all been trade. the increase in the mechanization robot has been much more important in the auto industry than trade per se, but there are still issues. i think one can say if you look at the last 30 years of trade adjustment assistance, that neither party has done a very good job in implementing those potential benefits for displaced
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workers. host: david gantz, a professor of law emeritus at the university of arizona. thanks for
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