June 30, 2020 – The new North American trade deal takes effect on July 1 amid heightened uncertainty about its likely impacts. The effect of the COVID-19 crisis on supply chains, the digital transformation of the economy, and the possibility of the US reimposing aluminum and steel tariffs all cloud the potential effects of the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on the economies of the signatory countries, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute.
Any of these three big unknowns could alter the projected impacts of the deal in four major studies, which themselves vary in their projections. In “The Trade and Economic Impact of the CUSMA: Making Sense of the Alternative Estimates,” Dan Ciuriak reconciles inconsistent estimates in the four studies, including the official studies released by governments of Canada and the United States. In doing so, he notes that emerging developments could muddy the waters further.