Over time, regional trade has tripled and cross-border investment between countries has increased. However, President Donald J. Trump said the agreement was detrimental to U.S. jobs and manufacturing. On September 30, 2018, the Trump administration concluded negotiations on an updated pact, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which came into effect on July 1, 2020. In 2003, China accounted for only about 7.5% of global GDP, while it now accounts for more than 20% (Chart 7). Therefore, an economic effect on China is expected to have more global consequences than it would have been 17 years ago. China is also more closely linked to the global economy, with international air traffic in China only 5 million in 2000, up from nearly 55 million today (Figure 8). Chinese tourists account for a significant share of tourism in Thailand (30%) Australia (15%). China has also become an important part of global value chains, which could have a significant impact on international companies (if disrupted). Moreover, China is now more vulnerable than it was 17 years ago: it has much higher debt, trade tensions with a major trading partner and its growth has been slowing in recent years, which is a weak starting point for such a crisis. But from an economic point of view, NAFTA is a success and, without it, the impact of competition from the expanding economies of the European Union or China would be worse. This is crucial now that both trade zones are above the United States as the world`s largest economies.
Increased foreign competition as a result of trade liberalization is prompting domestic firms to improve efficiency and produce cheaper. This competition could also encourage a country to transfer resources to sectors where it may have a competitive advantage. For example, trade liberalization has encouraged the UK to focus on its services sector and not on manufacturing. Together, these ingredients do not bode well for the global economy, if the coronavirus epidemic continues, the effects will be felt by global growth, trade and value chains, as well as in certain sectors such as transport and tourism. Overall, given that global economic growth is already slowing down, the virus is another risk that supports our view that we will see a global recession this year and that developed market central banks will likely have even more work to do in terms of stimulus.