Economic Affairs

US 'poison pill' targeting China makes no sense

Clause in the USMCA sets a bad precedent for future trade agreements

"I agree to a trade arrangement with you. But if in future you decide to trade freely with another country whose trade practices I do not approve, I reserve the right to end my trade arrangement with you."

This seems to be one of the conditions the United States has imposed upon Canada and Mexico in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which was signed on Sept 30.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'US 'poison pill' targeting China makes no sense'. Print Edition | Subscribe