“This isn’t a revolutionary deal. It’s a modification of a deal already in place,” said Eric Winograd, senior U.S. economist at AllianceBernstein, an investment and research firm. “The total economic impact will be very small. I do not expect it to boost the U.S. economy.”
To the degree that it could drive growth, the deal would do so by removing the cloud of uncertainty that Trump has created by unsettling global trade, some economists said. That climate of doubt may have held back investments — so the new deal could perhaps add a tenth of a percentage point to the economy’s growth rate next year, said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.
“We see this rebranded NAFTA agreement as a marketing exercise,” Rupkey said. “The harsh war of words from Trump’s economics team terrified markets, consumers and businesses for a time, but what the U.S. actually got was much more modest than what the angry war of words seemingly demanded.”