Chart of the Day: The Mystery of Donald Trump’s Missing Year

Here is the Trump administration’s estimate of the benefit of USMCA (aka NAFTA 2.0), the trade deal with Mexico and Canada that was concluded last year. They say that GDP will go up:

OK, it’s a table, not a chart. Sue me. In any case, it claims that Trump’s new trade deal will increase GDP by 0.35 percent, but mysteriously doesn’t say when this increase will happen. I wonder why they’d leave that out?

The answer is that it’s because this increase happens over the course of 16 years. That’s about 0.02 percent per year. Just to make it clear what that means, it’s the equivalent of $100 growing by two cents.

But wait, there’s more! It turns out that the model used by the International Trade Commission actually projects a GDP decrease of 0.12 percent. However, they add 0.47 percentage points because “commitments in USMCA address [] regulatory uncertainty by providing assurance to firms that current conditions will be maintained into the future.” The idea here is that companies can’t really be sure that things we’ve all been doing for decades will continue in the future, and the new treaty clears up this uncertainty.

Maybe so. But if that’s really the case, maybe we should sign a treaty that just clears up the regulatory uncertainty and leaves everything else alone?

This all comes via Dean Baker, who has more to say here.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate