If you want the United States to get richer, our economy to become more efficient, and jobs to proliferate across borders, you should support expanding international free trade with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. This means you should not support the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement just passed by the House of Representatives. The hodgepodge of new trade restrictions and updates to trade policies is commonly known as the USMCA.
The USMCA trade deal was negotiated by the Trump administration as a replacement for the 1994 deal known as NAFTA, which eliminated tariffs, taxes on imports, for most products between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The USMCA is a purported “upgrade” to NAFTA, and it mostly preserves the underlying zero-tariff framework. But many of the changes it does make are anti-trade, making its net value not an improvement from the current NAFTA status quo.
One needs to understand why free trade is a good thing in the first place. It’s one of the rare issues where economists, liberal and conservative alike, pretty much all agree: Free trade is a net positive for all involved and makes the world richer.