Donald Trump

More Questions Than Answers on Trump's Trade Deal With Mexico

Canada holds the upper hand, as the Trump administration and Mexico rush to finalize new trade deal before Friday's critical deadline.

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Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/Newscom

Call it the trade deal formerly known as NAFTA.

On Monday, President Donald Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a bi-lateral deal between the two countries that could replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But there are still critical unanswered questions about Canada's potential inclusion in the new agreement and whether Congress will consent to a two-party deal if Canada is indeed excluded. The deal also faces a ticking political clock that gives all three nations only a few days to get it finalized.

"They used to call it NAFTA. We're going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement," Trump said during a conference call Monday announcing the agreement. "We'll get rid of the name NAFTA. It has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA for many years. And now it's a really good deal for both countries, and we look very much forward to it."

The agreement's framework would see stricter rules for the manufacturing of automobile parts in the U.S. and Mexico, and would require that lawmakers in both countries review the pact every six years. Details of the deal remain somewhat scarce, but the announcement is a major breakthrough that potentially hands Trump an important political victory—and markets responded positively Monday to news of the deal.

A major component of the deal would require that automakers build up to 75 percent of their cars in the U.S. or Mexico to avoid paying tariffs on cars and car parts—up from 62.5 percent required to trade duty-free under NAFTA. The new deal would also require that auto workers in the two countries be paid at least $16 per hour, which is meant to induce car companies to avoid moving jobs to Mexico in search of cheaper labor. Those stricter rules will likely drive-up costs for consumers and may encourage automakers to simply pay the 2.5 percent tariffs on car parts rather than reconfigure complex global supply chains to meet the new requirements.

Those details aside, a looming deadline is probably the biggest threat to getting the new deal completed.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says he will present the U.S.-Mexico deal to Congress on Friday, regardless of whether Canada is included. That official presentation starts a 90-day clock for Congress to review the deal and give a simple up-or-down vote. Because of that 90-day review period, any deal offered to Congress after Sept. 1 would not go into effect until after December 1, the date when Peña Nieto will step down as Mexico's president. Incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would likely want to renegotiate the deal if it is not completed before he takes office.

Clearly, Friday is an important deadline. Trump and Lighthizer seem ready to press forward even if Canada is not on board, Mexican officials seem to have a different perspective. In a tweet, Peña Nieto emphasized the importance of having Canada be a part of the deal, and Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico's economic secretary, told Politico that details of the trade deal would not be disclosed until "we finish with the position of Canada."

Trump's rhetoric during Monday's conference call and Lighthizer's determination to bring the deal to Congress on Friday seem like attempts to put pressure on Canada. "The Trump administration is trying to squeeze Canada by saying 'the train is leaving the station with Mexico, get on board or don't," tweeted Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star's Washington corespondent. But, he adds, it is "not clear Mexico has agreed to have the train leave the station without Canada."

Exactly. It seems pretty unlikely that Canada will agree to join this trade deal by Friday. Even though Canadian officials surely have followed the U.S.-Mexico negotiations from a distance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would seem to have little to gain by jumping on board after deliberately sitting out five weeks of negotiations. Doing so would appear to be giving into Trump's bullying and would be unlikely to play well in Canada, where Trump is deeply unpopular and Trudeau's willingness to push-back against the American president has won him plaudits.

That game of chicken gets more interesting because it's not clear whether Congress will sign-off on a two-way deal between the U.S. and Mexico. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority to negotiate trade agreements, but Congress can grant the president what's known as Trade Promotion Authority" to negotiate deals like NAFTA. Under TPA, the White House is authorized to fast-track trade deals with other countries by negotiating them without congressional interference. Congress pledges to hold a straight up-or-down vote on the final product, essentially promising that it won't try to alter or undermine whatever deal the president makes.

Congress granted TPA for Trump to renegotiate a three-party trade deal. Trump might bring them a two-party deal and ask that they accept it instead.

"The agreement needs to include Canada as well," says Clark Packard, trade policy counsel at the R Street Institute, a free market think tank in Washington, D.C. "It's obvious that the chairmen of the relevant committees, Senate Finance and House Ways and Means, agree."

Unless Canada suddenly jumps on-board, it's virtually impossible for this trade deal to be ratified by Congress before López Obrador becomes Mexico's president. There are also the upcoming mid-terms in the United States, where a Democratic takeover of Congress would likely change the political calculus for any trade deals.

In short, Trump's agreement with Mexico is a step in the right direction—but is far from being a done deal, and doesn't seem to do much to make trade any more free than it was under NAFTA.

"It shows the Trump administration is willing to negotiate, which hasn't really been apparent until now," Dan Ikenson, director of trade policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, tells Reason. "But in the end, it will be a deal reached to end this extended episode of uncertainty rather than one that makes the region or the United States better off in any measurable respects."

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  1. The agreement’s framework would see stricter rules for the manufacturing of automobile parts in the U.S. and Mexico

    would also require that auto workers in the two countries be paid at least $16 per hour

    Thank God Trump used his great bargaining skills to get freer trade….

    1. TRUMP GOT THIS! IT BE ELEVEN DIMESION CHESS!

      1. Hahaha.

        Trump: best president in over 100 years.

        1. Keep carrying that water LC.

          1. All the good Libertarian-ish things Trump has done just surpass any bad things he has done.

            We can repeat the list here but Lefties will always refuse to admit the good things, with TDS sprinkled on top.

        2. Silent Cal signaled to me to flip you the bird.

        3. Trump, best president since the last president. Nah, he doesn’t even meet that bar.

        4. over….100… years.

    2. Again, not to defend the guy (I didn’t vote for him) as I think wages should be lower but it wasn’t entirely his baby to negotiate and/or freer trade wasn’t the guaranteed outcome. The hourly rate for a UAW employee prior to 2007 was $28-$38/hr. After the bailout, new employees got renegotiated to ~$16/hr. going forward.

      Managed trade is still not fair trade.

      1. And managed trade and fair trade are not free trade.

        1. Managed trade is a term ambiguous enough to describe every trading regime back to the stone age.

        2. MAGA!

        3. That’s what I meant. Managed trade is still not free trade.

          1. Sorry. I agree with you then.

      2. The $16/hour requirement is meant for Mexican workers – so their exports to us become more expensive.

        1. The $16/hour requirement is meant for Mexican workers – so their exports to us become more expensive.

          No shit Sherlock. Next you’ll tell me that our labor costs were relatively inflated under NAFTA and that Trump went in promising, not necessarily freer trade and certainly not lower wages, but fairer trade for the American worker.

          1. There’s still no ‘fairer trade for the American worker’. Just protections for a limited class of Americans and the rest of us get screwed to pay for them.

            1. Do you hang out at car dealerships and argue about the color of the cars you aren’t going to buy?

      3. Buttplugger is now worried about labor adding cost to products for Americans.

      4. An open society is real different from a free society too.

        1. How about a managed society?

          I prefer the term centrally planned trade as it applies in this case.

          1. Then explain NAFTA.
            Trade agreements sure look like centrally planned trade to me.
            Or did we have centrally planned trade, then non-centrally planned trade during NAFTA, and now centrally planned trade again?
            What is the difference between trade deals that makes one free and one centrally planned?
            Status quo ante uber alles?

            1. They are usually central planning. NAFTA certainly was. Trump promised to replace NAFTA. Instead he just upped the NAFTA ante.

              For all the talk and bluster about dropping ALL trade restrictions at the G8… well, I guess we should watch what he does, not what he says as his followers like to tell us.

              He could have replaced NAFTA with a one page document. We promise not to raise any barriers to trade against each other. Full stop.

              1. Trump offered free trade and our trading partners refused.

                Evidently they still wont do free trade but some trading partners will agree to lower trade restrictions under new managed trade deals.

                It might the best the USA can get right now. Trump might also be exhausted at trying to get better trade arrangements for the USA and the media attacking him. Its hard work being the only correct person in the room.

      5. Managed trade *is* ‘fair trade’. That’s the *point*. Its managed so all these morons with an axe to grind (for money, of course) can get their taste – then its called ‘fair’.

        The only genuinely fair trade is un-managed trade. Its fair because everyone involved is #winning. Because if they didn’t think they were coming out ahead then they wouldn’t agree to trade. And Trump – like every other one of these power-mongers – will never agree to get the hell out of the way. Because then he’d lose his power.

        1. Free trade is unmanaged trade. Market players do the trades without government interference.

  2. A major component of the deal would require that automakers build up to 75 percent of their cars in the U.S. or Mexico to avoid paying tariffs on cars and car parts?up from 62.5 percent required to trade duty-free under NAFTA. The new deal would also require that auto workers in the two countries be paid at least $16 per hour, which is meant to induce car companies to avoid moving jobs to Mexico in search of cheaper labor. Those stricter rules will likely drive-up costs for consumers and may encourage automakers to simply pay the 2.5 percent tariffs on car parts rather than reconfigure complex global supply chains to meet the new requirements.

    So there are MORE requirements around COR and wages?

    It looks like our resident idiot, LoveCons1789, doesn’t know what a free trade deal is. But we all knew that, right? Our resident idiot keeps saying The Dotard will deliver the greatest trade deals in libertarian history!

    1. Look, capybaras don’t need to understand trade. They just need to understand where to find the tastiest underwater tubers, and how to keep foreigners from accessing those tasty tubers.

  3. The new deal would also require that auto workers in the two countries be paid at least $16 per hour, which is meant to induce car companies to avoid moving jobs to Mexico in search of cheaper labor.

    That should help fix one of the many flaws in Ricardo’s Theory of Comparative Advantage that free trade is based on.

  4. Well it’s a step. Instead of getting royally fucked, maybe now we’ll just be getting royally felt up.

    1. “I forgot how nice your pants is…” –Remy

  5. As long as it has the Trump Brand Trump Golden Seal Of Trump Approval on it, it’ll be fantastic. The greatest deal ever in the history of Mankind. A lot of people have told me that already. NAFTA sucked because Trump didn’t make the deal, this one’s obviously going to be the greatest because Trump’s making the deal and he’s The Greatest Dealmaker. How the hell can you not understand this? Trump makes great deals, therefore this deal must be great. Trump did not make the last deal therefore it couldn’t have been great.

    1. I see you have read Trump’s The Art of the Con.

      1. You Lefties continue to fall for all his great strategies at making people like you look silly.

        1. You mean this lefty strategy of his to throw a bone to the UAW?

          1. Managed trade involved many bones being thrown around.

            Trump offered free trade and that was rejected. Trump gets managed trade with better terms for the USA than NAFTA.

            A win for Trump. Free trade would have been best but you cannot force other nations to end all their trade restrictions.

  6. It sounds like you’re imagining a pretty big renegotiation of NAFTA. What would a fair NAFTA look like?
    Big isn’t a good enough word. Massive.

    Huge?
    It’s got to be. It’s got to be.

    What would it look like? What would a fair NAFTA look like?
    No, it’s gotta be. Otherwise we’re terminating NAFTA.

    What would a fair NAFTA look like?
    I was all set to terminate, you know? And this wasn’t like?this wasn’t a game I was playing. I’m not playing?you know, I wasn’t playing chess or poker or anything else. This was, I was, I’d never even thought about?it’s always the best when you really feel this way. But I was?I had no thought of anything else, and these two guys will tell you, I had no thought of anything else but termination. But because of my relationship with both of them, I said, I would like to give that a try too, that’s fine. I mean, out of respect for them. It would’ve been very disrespectful to Mexico and Canada had I said, “I will not.”

    But Mr President, what has to change for you not to withdraw?
    We have to be able to make fair deals. Right now the United States has a 70?almost a $70bn trade deficit with Mexico. And it has about a $15bn dollar trade deficit with Canada. The timber coming in from Canada, they’ve been negotiating for 35 years. And it’s been?it’s been terrible for the United States. You know, it’s just, it’s just been terrible.

    1. Trump then added, “Just to clarify, I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future. For our children.” And then he shit himself.

      1. Miss South Carolina or Trump?

      2. Either way, Buttplugger will have shit in his mouth mumbling for seconds.

  7. So tariffs CAN get trading partners to actually lower trade restrictions.

    Reason has egg on its face with this one. I am sure that Reason will commence the media propaganda pieces.

    1. Setting aside the fact that the US and Mexico don’t seem to be on the same page as to whether this agreement should include Canada, or the fact that this needs to get through Congress to take effect, it’s baffling that you somehow think Trump instituting stricter regulations on auto imports is somehow a win for freer trade and lower trade restrictions.

      1. Look, capybaras don’t need to understand trade. They just need to understand where to find the tastiest underwater tubers, and how to keep foreigners from accessing those tasty tubers.

        CMB

      2. Who knows. The media refuses to cover this agreement with any objectivity so we can find out what the agreement entails.

        I defer to Trump and getting better terms for the USA.

        Trump already offered free trade and our trading partners refused. This is as good managed trade as we can…right now.

        When this agreement is shown to be better, I expect your contrite apology that Trump could did pull it off. You said you would give credit to Trump. I cant wait for that!

        1. The media refuses to cover this agreement with any objectivity so we can find out what the agreement entails.

          I defer to Trump and getting better terms for the USA.

          Well of course! The media lies and is the enemy of the American People. Trump, on the other hand, has always been honest and forthright!

          1. The media nearly always lies about everything to undermine the USA. Trump is rolling back what the media wants, so they attack him. Trump tries to stand up for America and Americans, so the they attack him.

            Trump lies on some stuff and doesnt lie on other stuff. Most of his lying is to keep the media distracted. Some of his “lies” are not actually lies but stuff he doesnt know anything about or exaggerations.

            Its always amusing that Trump’s ‘exaggerations’ are “lies”, but Obama’s “lies” are ‘truth’.

        2. Of course you “defer to Trump”. That is what servile little bootlickers do. Why don’t you finally admit that Trump doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing and this whole idea that he was pushing for freer trade was a bunch bullshit. Free trade isn’t something you negotiate. It is a fucking God-given right. And it is not something we can get from other countries. It has nothing to do with other countries. It is simply about government leaving people alone. Mexico can’t take away my “free trade”. Only America can do that. If you don’t understand this then you have no understanding of libertarianism or even basic economics.

          1. Dude, you don’t get it. lc is a master economist. I learned from him that true free trade means zero tariffs on both sides. Any tariff at all is a trade war. If you don’t like Trump’s trade war then you are defending the tariffs that existed before he raised them. Not only that, but the US has been in a trade war for the entire history of the nation, because true free trade never existed. And get this – whatever Trump negotiates will be free trade even if it doesn’t fit the previous definition because Trump and if you don’t like it you’re a Big Government Anarchist who voted for Hillary.

            lc is so smart. He says Adam Smith, Bastiat and Hayek are all dufuses because Trump.

            MAGA!

            1. I’m beginning to think he’s gone on the parody front so hard it’s impossible to tell.

            2. Im glad you admit that I am smarter than you. I am.

              Free trade is zero trade restrictions, including zero tariffs.

              YOU say that Adam Smith, Bastiat and Hayek are all NOT dufuses because Trump.

          2. Oh poor Weinermobile, is wrong and he’s a servile bootlicker.

            Trump’s strategy worked! Pressuring American trading partners got some of them to lower trade restrictions within 90 days.

        3. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says he will present the U.S.-Mexico deal to Congress on Friday

          The media refuses to cover this agreement with any objectivity so we can find out what the agreement entails.

          You lefties are just so mad that Trump got a better deal than Bill Clinton.

          So the deal apparently hasn’t been even written up yet, but you’re convinced the Fake News is refusing to print the text of the deal, and you know what’s in the text of the deal. You realize you’re the kind of Trump True Believer I mock with my comments about Trump, right?

          1. The media said it is a done deal. I am not in the room and depend on their ‘truth’ telling abilities.

            The media could phrase the entire trade discussion as a plan that needs to be finalized but Trump looks to have gotten lower trade restrictions.

            The media chose a different route.

    2. So we needed to *raise* the trade restrictions so we could *lower them back to where they were before raising them*? And this counts as a success?

      This is like idiots with plans to ‘corner the market’ by selling at a loss who lose everything once they raise prices above production again.

      1. Trump offered free trade and our trading partners refused. Trump raised trade restrictions to pressure our trading partners.

        If our trading partners lower their trade restrictions below pre-Trump levels, then that is success for Trump. Trump cannot make other nations end all trade restrictions. He hoped that pressuring the other nations would get them to lower or end trade restrictions.

        It partly worked even if Trump could not get free trade….yet.

  8. That official presentation starts a 90-day clock for Congress to review the deal and give a simple up-or-down vote.

    *** snort ***

    As if any of them will read it.

  9. In 1996 John McCain opposed a $350 million federal HUD loan guarantee for low income housing requested by ……. Donald Trump.

    https://goo.gl/wnNuLW

    Shortly after than Trump began insulting McCain’s POW record.

    1. Isnt this about Trump’s strategy working to bend Mexico and Canada to our will?

      Your nonsensical comment would fit better in McCain’s many Reason articles or a trash can.

      1. Your hero is a HUD housing queen. I know you that is somehow libertarian in your rodent mind.

        1. Trump built housing for poor people. More than Lefties ever have.

          Trump took the Lefty fake fantasy and made it a reality. Cheap housing for poor people.

      2. ‘Our’ will? Who, you and the hamster in your pocket? Who the fuck is ‘we’ kemosabe? There is no ‘we’. You are a real collectivist. Like, I don’t understand people like you. You’re not here to ‘see what the other side is saying’. You’re not a very good troll. Why are you here? Its not to discuss libertarianism – not even the watered-down Reason version. Its not to evangelize your collectivist philosophy – or, at least, you’re doing a shitty job of providing any justification for everyone bending over and taking it ‘for the greater good’.

        You’re like, just a weird man coming over to argue simply because you have nothing else. Like Tony, PB, etc. I don’t get it. I don’t spend time shitposting in socialist forums. I don’t troll creationists. I don’t waste time taking the piss out of supremacists. What is it that draws you here?

        1. Unfortunately for YOU, trade with China is not done via individuals. Sooner or later any trade that YOU initiate goes thru Communist party TOP MEN. YOU trade with China. China trades with YOU through American trade rules.

      3. I would bend Canada in a smiley face direction and bend Mexico in a frowny face one. We need a mustache on the southern border.

        Build the mustache!

    2. Pete Rose played 5 different positions for the Reds

      1. Was there.

        Once saw Pete Rose when he threw a ball bounced to far left field to Johnny Bench to out a runner from third in the day of the big red machine. Straight as an arrow. They put him in outfield on double headers to keep him in the lineup.

        Best throw I have ever seen. Clothesline.

        Went with dad to one of those meet the players things.

        The guy was a total dick.

        If Trump could play like that I might forget about the rest. Heel spurs.

  10. They used to call it NAFTA. We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement,” Trump said during a conference call Monday announcing the agreement. “We’ll get rid of the name NAFTA. It has a bad connotation

    Raise your hand if you think this is the most important thing in his eyes, so he can say that got rid of NAFTA regardless of whether the new agreement is substantially better or worse, or even just different.

    1. Haha. You lefties are just so mad that Trump got a better deal than Bill Clinton.

      That and now there is actual precedent that pressuring trade partners with trade restrictions CAN get them to renegotiate trade agreements.

      1. Even if you’re right, that doesn’t invalidate LynchPin’s comment. This will undoubtedly be touted as a major political victory right before the midterms, regardless of whether the deal is actually better or worse. That’s just politics.

    2. Look. It will be better because Trump. If stuff costs more then it’s better because Trump. If stuff costs less then it’s better because Trump. If it helps unions its better because Trump. If it hurts unions its better because Trump. No matter what it will be better because Trump.

      Anyone who disagrees is a Big Government Anarchist who voted for Hillary.

      1. Trump got lower trade restrictions than what we had in Jan 2017. Costs for business will be cheaper than in Jan 2017.

        Your strawmen are funny Sarcasmic. You’re not even trying to be wrong anymore. You just do what Buttplugger and Tony do.

  11. Honest question – is there an expiration date on NAFTA? I’m not aware of any, and I don’t think that Trump can pull out unilaterally. So if Congress just does nothing then the status quo remains just that. Correct?

    1. Article 2205: Withdrawal
      A Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties. If a Party withdraws, the Agreement shall remain in force for the remaining Parties.

      NAFTA provisions

      Trump gave notice, remember?

    2. Under the language in NAFTA any party can withdraw from the agreement by providing six months written notice of its intent to withdraw. It’s unclear whether a President can withdraw the United States from a treaty on their own or if it requires an act of Congress. There has never been a ruling by the Supreme Court on that question

      1. It’s unclear whether a President can withdraw the United States from a treaty on their own or if it requires an act of Congress. There has never been a ruling by the Supreme Court on that question

        There’s also a retarded notion that Congress would read a treaty in its entirety and never approve a treaty that explicitly granted the President, or even Joe The Plumber withdrawal rights/privileges.

      2. Also, the NAFTA Implementation Act was a law passed by Congress. Some provisions would end upon Executive withdrawal from the agreement, but many provisions would remain. There may be some MFN level tariffs, but much of the rest would remain.

        1. Says YOU.

          Trump gets more popular by ending NAFTA, so he will ask Congress to do that.

          Even if he adds the language of old NAFTA provisions into a new agreement, its a new managed trade agreement.

  12. Where is the part about Mexico paying for our border wall?

  13. Mexico is paying for the border wall expansion via taxes from illegals.

    Thanks Mexico!

    1. We should just start billing Mexico for the public services consumed by their foreign nationals illegally present in the US. We can start with those in prison.

      If we do that, Mexico probably builds a wall on their side.

      And we’ll have plenty of money to build the Trump Wall on our side.

  14. Wait wait wait. Now don’t jump to conclusions on this. This is just 3,027,937-dimensional chess. You see, by agreeing to more regulations on trade between the US and Mexico, he is sending the signal to Kim Jong Un that he is a tough steely negotiator and will stop at nothing to see those nukes of his destroyed! We just need patience to see Trump’s master plan through!

    1. How do those checkers pieces taste?

  15. (Canada holds the upper hand, as the Trump administration and Mexico rush to finalize new trade deal before Friday’s critical deadline.)

    Bullshit

    1. No kidding, and especially not with Trudeau in charge. The fun thing to do would be throw Mexico a little extra to get their agreement to stay out of it and then just completely fuck Canada.

    2. The time pressure is on Canada, not the US.

      Canada and US trade are roughly balanced, making it a much higher percentage of Canada’s economy than the US economy. Any disruption to trade is a much bigger problem to Canada than the US.

      Again, greater pressure on Canada.

      It’s fine if Canada doesn’t sign on. They’ll renegotiate with the US in a bilateral deal. Bilateral deals give the advantage to the larger prty.

      So much winning!

  16. Those stricter rules will likely drive-up costs for consumers…

    The more we pay for stuff, the richer we are! MAGA!

    1. You paid more for stuff in Jan 2017. There are massive amounts of trade restrictions pre-Trump.

      Thanks to Trump the costs of doing business has dropped a tiny bit.

  17. Paging Ken Schultz

  18. Any thoughts on the rush to get it signed by the lame duck president in Mexico?

  19. “But in the end, it will be a deal reached to end this extended episode of uncertainty rather than one that makes the region or the United States better off in any measurable respects.”

    Good thing. Market economy thrives on stability.

    Shuffle numbers around and call it a victory.

    Capitalism works. We create wealth every day. The only thing the government can do is screw it up.

    1. “shuffling numbers” as YOU call it, involved lowering some trade restrictions.

      Costs of business will go down. A win for the USA in other words.

      Free trade is the easiest since it involved ending all trade restrictions but you cannot force another nation to end all trade restrictions.

  20. There are some issues on which Trump is indistinguishable from the left, and trade is one of them.

    Trump has no issue calling other countries “$hithole”, but apparently NAFTA is a really dirty word and has to be replaced with “trade with Mexico”. I don’t know why he keeps on saying NAFTA hurt the country, even after he proposed bailing out red state farmers who are disgruntled over the trade war.

    The left agreed with Trump on two things – the Syria bombing and trade. Chuck Schumer congratulated Trump on his trade war with China and Trump said Chuck was his friend. The democrats have not united on free trade as a campaign issue as the GOP did with fiscal restraint during the Obama years. That tells you something.

    1. The left never agrees on anything. One Senator is not “The left”. Will Rogers said he wasn’t a member of an organized party, he was a Democrat.

      Fiscal restraint never was a priority for Republicans. The Democrats don’t need a message for the election, they just need to not be Republicans.

    2. MAGA!

  21. I just have a feeling this is going to fit the same trump pattern we have come to see…

    Step 1: Tear up any past deal not negotiated by trump, as those are ALL bad deals, that are screwing Americans, and made by dumb bad stupid deal makers who cant deal and want to see the Americans keep getting screwed (sign seal and deliver this to rust belt areas dissatisfied with their jobs/lives to really fire them up)

    Step 2: +5 bonus points if deal had anything to do with Obama

    Step 3: Employ the ART OF THE DEAL!! *pew pew, lazer, smash, bazoom*…Trump makes a “deal”…might just be a conversation, might be a different deal

    Step 4: Plant huge “mission accomplished” style flag in the steaming pile…err…”deal” trump made.

    Step 5: Everyone agrees, trump made the best deal and saved America

    Oh ya..

    Step 6: If you don’t agree, you are lefty trash, brainwashed by the MSM, not giving trump a fair shake, and not able to make stellar deals like he is. He is the authority on good deals and what is right and true. Any other analysis is skewed, biased, and unfair.

    1. If all you do is say everything Trump does is bad even if it isnt… then you are Lefty trash, brainwashed by the MSM, or TDS if you like.

      1. Sure I’m lefty trash if you like. Whatever makes you feel better.

        Of course, I have served my country, pay my taxes (a fuckload of them), and vote for whoever I think will be most in line with my less-govt, less-spending, lower taxes values, while staying out of my personal life. That in recent years has been with the R’s, though they have now proven to me many times over they are incapable of actually cutting spending (the out of control military, SS / entitlements, actually passing a responsible budget and controlling the deficit). And that also includes a vote for the Donald himself.

        The difference between you (as well as the other trump lemmings) and me is that I can step back and re-evaluate my vote, based on what I believe in. I don’t get emotionally attached to a candidate like the naive lefties who worshiped the messiah, or those in the trump personality cult who wouldn’t hold trump to account if he pissed on our flag on TV. You just aren’t on the same intellectual level to be able to separate your feels from your vote.

  22. I just have a feeling this is going to fit the same trump pattern we have come to see…

    Step 1: Tear up any past deal not negotiated by trump, as those are ALL bad deals, that are screwing Americans, and made by dumb bad stupid deal makers who cant deal and want to see the Americans keep getting screwed (sign seal and deliver this to rust belt areas dissatisfied with their jobs/lives to really fire them up)

    Step 2: +5 bonus points if deal had anything to do with Obama

    Step 3: Employ the ART OF THE DEAL!! *pew pew, lazer, smash, bazoom*…Trump makes a “deal”…might just be a conversation, might be a different deal

    Step 4: Plant huge “mission accomplished” style flag in the steaming pile…err…”deal” trump made.

    Step 5: Everyone agrees, trump made the best deal and saved America

    Oh ya..

    Step 6: If you don’t agree, you are lefty trash, brainwashed by the MSM, not giving trump a fair shake, and not able to make stellar deals like he is. He is the authority on good deals and what is right and true. Any other analysis is skewed, biased, and unfair.

    1. Oh ya, something something TDS is probably in there too for good measure 🙂

      1. If TDS is not listed in DSM-5 the US needs to pull all funding from the lefty American Psychiatric Association.

        Commies and leftists there have already forced the LGBTQ agenda far enough.

        /s

      2. You’re the one that refuses to acknowledge Trump’s good deeds and bad deeds on their own merits.

  23. I am flummoxed, to be honest, by Eric’s decision to be a shill on this. Are you just a moron, Eric? Or is there some agenda at play here, served by somehow making this “agreement” to be much more than it is?

    To be clear – and this is something you have to figure out by reading something other than Reason’s coverage – the agreement with Mexico does not “replace” NAFTA. It is an agreement to make a few changes and essentially rebrand the thing. Trump’s much-hyped “deal” amounts to little more than tweaking around the edges of a deal that Trump expects to convince his base no longer is in place, simply by calling it something else.

    Typical Trump. Typical, too, in that he’s trumpeting it way too soon.

    What I especially don’t get is how in the world this can be spun as a “step in the right direction,” from a libertarian perspective, when nearly every one of its released details promises to increase prices for consumers by imposing artificial floors on market activity. Up is down, in this story.

    1. I don’t think anyone is saying it’s a win for US consumers. I don’t think that’s the goal. It’s a win for American workers.

  24. I have been pondering long-ago trade mysteries.

    The first goes back to 1863 and the Civil War along the Mississippi River. Union forces have taken control of Memphis. The North has sky-high cotton prices. No one can get cotton, because it is illegal to buy from the South. The South has oodles of cotton that the Confederate government has made illegal to sell to the North and the Yankee navy has made impossible to sell to anyone else. Against all odds, on dark nights trade happens. A lot.

    It is 1915. Germany and Britain are at war. Each seeks to blockade each other. The USA claims neutrality and warns Berlin that U-boats better not hinder our ships trading with England, but our trade going to Hamburg dries up. Why? That isn’t being neutral! Then a British ship, the Lusitania, is sunk, with Americans on it. The Germans build a huge trade submarine, the Deutschland, that sneaks through the British blockade and shows up in New York City!

    The Americans reluctantly trade. The Deutschland pays for itself on its first voyage, but can make only one more underwatervoyage before April 1917 throws America into Europe’s war.

    Trench warfare and naval warfare had made the British military high command aware that their sniper rifles and naval binoculars were quite inferior to the German types. It was soon understood that the Germans were absolutely desperate for petroleum. Yes, trade happened, through Switzerland. Germans sold British snipers better scopes!

  25. This will get passed because of the collective bargaining strengthening. Democrats will vote for it or get raked over the coals in midterms.

    It also directly targets China and puts a ton more pressure on them.

    Genius.

    And before all you TDS lunatics get angry that I said that, it is more a reflection of Lighthizer and co., though Trump put together a good team.

    I will call it a success if the numbers pan out that this is a freer trade deal overall, which I think they will.

    1. If the numbers get the USA lower trade restrictions and costs to do business, then Trump deserves the credit for trying something and it working.

      As you say, any Trump success put massive pressure on China and the EU to work out lower trade restrictions.

      The TDS folks will hate any success Trump has because they hate Trump and probably the USA too. If this strategy doesnt work, I would blame Trump for his strategy not working. Even will the media and a bunch of Americans trying to undermine any better managed trade deal for the USA.

  26. Reason and the deranged, illogical, hysterical commetariat reduced to fantasizing their own reality in the desperate hope it doesn’t get passed, then cheerleading for Trudeau because Trump. Who cares whether it is a good deal or not?

    1. Those people will never admit it. Some are foreign bots anyway. You can tell by their non-American centric tone.

  27. Tariffs, trade wars and the Wall are all extremely Stupid!

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