A car can look like a fantastic bargain on the lot, only to reveal itself as a lemon when you drive it away. It’s not so different with trade agreements.
Take the deal hammered out
Monday between the U.S. and Mexico on automotive imports, which the two countries hope to extend to Canada, the third member of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The key elements certainly look dramatic: lifting rules-of-origin requirements to 75 percent to avoid import tariffs, and a separate rule that 40 percent to 45 percent of content come from factories paying more than $16 an hour. The wage rule in particular is about twice what Mexican assembly-line workers make
, and four times the average at parts companies there.
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