Public Citizen, the left-of-center public interest group, on Wednesday praised sections of President Trump's U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement on trade, saying certain areas represented a significant improvement over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

While the group said not every detail of the agreement was good, some represented steps backwards and much rested on its implementation, it said the deal nevertheless included "important progress" in the area of investor-state dispute settlements and could address some economic issues with the old NAFTA.

"The revised deal could reduce NAFTA’s ongoing job outsourcing, downward pressure on our wages and environmental damage if more is done to ensure the new labor standards are subject to swift and certain enforcement, and some other key improvements are made," Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch program said in an analysis released Wednesday.

Many progressive groups, Democratic lawmakers, and organized labor have been circumspect in discussing the NAFTA replacement deal. The agreement includes many changes that liberal trade skeptics have long called for, putting those groups in the awkward position of having to applaud Trump. Public Citizen's lengthy analysis delved into the details of the agreement — and found much to like.

Trump's USMCA deal is intended to prod manufacturers to locate more production in the U.S., long a goal of trade skeptics. Toward that end, it penalizes outsourcing to Mexico by requiring that 75 percent of the parts of a car need to be made in North America for it to be duty-free, up from the 62.5 percent level set by NAFTA. It also requires that at least 40 percent of all auto content be made by workers making at least $16 an hour or its equivalent.

Public Citizen gave that provisions the thumbs-up and said the deal's rules of origin improvements covered a lot of other areas too. "While the auto sector rules have gotten the most attention, the new NAFTA text has higher rules of origin throughout," the analysis says, noting that it also scraps "methodologies for calculating the value of inputs in a product that minimize counting the foreign content" and has better rules for determining the origin of steel and aluminum, among other changes.

The group said that the Trump administration made improvements in areas regarding investor-state dispute settlement. This included eliminating a separate NAFTA section covering investor-state disputes between the U.S. and Canada, something it estimated would eliminate 92 percent of U.S. liability overall.

"This, combined with the major roll back of corporate rights and [investor-state dispute settlement] coverage between the U.S. and Mexico would prevent many new ISDS attacks on domestic environmental and health policies," Public Citizen said. "That even this corporate-compliant administration whacked ISDS means future presidents cannot backslide and also sends a powerful signal to the many nations worldwide also seeking to escape the ISDS regime."

UPDATE: The story has been corrected to more accurately reflect Public Citizen's analysis.