Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, on Tuesday told FOX Business that the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada is a benchmark for future negotiations — especially with China.
The U.S. and Canada on Sunday announced a trade agreement that includes Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The new pact will be named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
According to Hassett, the pact will force China to come to the negotiating table.
“Right now there’s a lot of pressure on China,” Hassett told Maria Bartiromo. “And they see that we can actually make very smart, clever deals and get partners together and come up with a path forward that opens up our markets to each other and closes the back door into the U.S.”
Although some retailers have expressed concerns over potential price increases resulting from the tariffs, Hassett said consumers shouldn’t worry about feeling the pinch.
“Don’t forget you can buy stuff from other countries besides China, not just the U.S.,” he said. “And so as we were looking at the stuff to put the tariffs on for China we were studying things that had close substitutes and trying to do it in a way to put maximum pressure on them and minimum pressure on us.”
The new deal also unifies the U.S. and its allies against China’s unfair trade practices, like stealing intellectual property, in addition to speeding up negotiations.
“We also now have this really great deal that we can show to our trading partners like the European Union and say, ‘Hey you know if you copy this deal then we can be done tomorrow,” he said. “And I think that’s going to help these things move very quickly.”
“I expect to see a lot of deals close over the next few months.”