Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Roderic Ai Camp

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

©2019 Edgar G Warnholtz Perez


On October 1, 2018, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), concluding 13 months of negotiations that concerned economies totaling 27.88% of world GDP. The recentness, magnitude, and relevance of the USMCA invokes a comprehensive analysis of the multidimensional factors that led to this agreement. Explaining the USMCA of 2018 requires insight of the continent’s political and economic forces that bound Canada, the United States, and Mexico with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1994. After doing so, this study then compiles a variety of works in a meta-analysis on NAFTA’s effects during the past 25 years. This paper finds that NAFTA achieved its intended goals, but failed to anticipate many negative repercussions for which it is criticized today. Then, this study investigates the demand for renegotiation of NAFTA which was triggered by Donald Trump calling it “the worst trade deal in history maybe ever” during his presidential campaign. However, when presenting the new USMCA to the press, he described it as a “wonderful new trade deal.” Therefore, study analyzes how different the USMCA is from NAFTA, and finds that the few changes are explained by a modernization of certain chapters to adapt the treaty to the digital era. These modifications heavily resonate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free trade agreement that included the U.S. until President Trump withdrew from it. What then results to be a rebranding of other agreements is predicted here to bring more political repercussions than economic change, as elections in Canada dawn later this year and in the U.S. in 2020. Ultimately, each party succeeded per its own renegotiation objectives; Mexico and Canada sought market penetration in the U.S., whereas the U.S. sought concessions and an end to NAFTA. Ratification of the USMCA is pending at the domestic level of each country, which this paper predicts will occur successfully, perhaps even before the end of 2019. Nonetheless, despite the modernization efforts involved in producing the USMCA, this paper questions whether the agreement equips these three member states to face the challenges of tomorrow.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.