NAFTA

Trump's Trade Deal with Mexico Looks Like a Dud

The deal empowers "government bureaucrats rather than markets to determine the components in cars and other goods," says Sen. Ben Sasse.

|

PAPPIS JEAN PIERRE POLARIS/SIPA/Newscom

Barely 24 hours after it was announced, President Donald Trump's trade deal with Mexico appears to be hitting the skids. Congressional Republicans are voicing widespread opposition to this bilateral NAFTA rewrite that leaves Canada out.

And even if they did like it, they probably couldn't pass it.

Cutting straight to the chase, outgoing senator (and frequent Trump critic) Bob Corker of Tennessee suggests to The Washington Post that the supposed deal "is more for optics and people feeling good about the future as it relates to the midterms than it is reality."

Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says the deal is a step in the right direction but that it should include Canada. Other Republicans have raised concerns about the lack of specifics in the plan, which the White House intends to formally present to Congress on Friday.

The harshest criticism comes from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who criticizes the deal for "empowering government bureaucrats rather than markets to determine the components in cars and other goods."

He's likely referring to an increase in the percentage of a car—from 62.5 percent to 75 percent—that must be built within the U.S. or Mexico to qualify for duty-free trade. That detail, one of the few specifics released so far, has also raised concerns from industry groups, whose support will be crucial to getting any NAFTA replacement through Congress.

As with so many other items on the policy agenda, the Trump administration seems to have taken a "fuck it, do it live" approach to renegotiating NAFTA. With only days remaining before a critical September 1 deadline, officials seem ready to press ahead with a bilateral rewrite of the three-party trade deal with the vague hope that Canada either will jump aboard as the train leaves the station or can be shoehorned into the agreement at a later date.

"We will see whether or not we decide to put up Canada or just do a separate deal with Canada," Trump said Monday.

That slapdash effort might be literally impossible to push through Congress, even if Republicans were thrilled with it.

Under the terms of a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) passed in 2017, Congress has agreed to let the administration negotiate trade deals and promises to subject the final version to a straight yes-or-no vote—essentially promising that individual members won't try to muck up the deal at the last minute. But the administration is limited in what it can do too. It must get permission from Congress, and must outline what deal will be subject to TPA.

When Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, wrote to Congress last year seeking a TPA for a NAFTA renegotiation, he specifically requested permission "to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico." That permission can't be applied to a bilateral deal between the U.S. and Mexico any more than it could be applied to a bilateral deal between the U.S. and Brazil. Getting congressional permission for a bilateral agreement with Mexico would take as much as 180 days, according to CNBC. It would certainly push any possible dealmaking off until next year, when a new Mexican president—and potential shifts in Congress' balance of power—would change the dynamics.

Congress could derail Trump's deal with Mexico on policy grounds, or it could simply point to the TPA rules, shrug, and tell the president that there's nothing it can do because of the procedural rules. Either way the deal's prospects don't look good.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

106 responses to “Trump's Trade Deal with Mexico Looks Like a Dud

  1. The harshest criticism comes from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who criticizes the deal for “empowering government bureaucrats rather than markets to determine the components in cars and other goods.”

    That’s a feature, Ben, not a bug.

  2. 62.5 to 75 change is even worse under a bilateral deal. The 62.5% requirement is for US, Mexico, and Canada under NAFTA. In a bilateral deal, the 75% target would be limited to just the US and Mexico from what I understand. So the increase is even worse than it initially seems.

    1. NAFTA is the worst trade deal in history! It’s just awful!

      But if we just change this one number by 12.5…SUPER AWESOME TRADE DEAL!

      Jesus, what a clown show.

      1. 12.5% more oxygen in the bloodstream, 12.5% less, what’s the big deal anyway, it’s oxygen, it’s there.

      2. “We will see whether or not we decide to put up Canada or just do a separate deal with Canada,” Trump said Monday.

        I guess this is what Drumpf means when he holds up high his Holy Business Bible: The Art of the Squeal. “We’ll see what happens” is his ejection seat go-to-catchphrase!

  3. Nein-dimensional chess.

    1. Congress kills lower trade restrictions. Lefties clap that America is hurt.

      1. This is a blatantly retarded comment.

        1. Yes. Lefties are retarded and hate America.

  4. The deal empowers “government bureaucrats rather than markets to determine the components in cars and other goods,” says Sen. Ben Sasse.

    Trade regulations, like those imposed by every nation on earth, do that.

    Not that I’m surprised that Sasse had never heard of such a thing.

    1. I get the first line of your response is trying to deflect from a legitimate criticism by claiming that its justified because everyone does it.

      But the second line is kind of confusing. Like is it a new internet meta thing to call someone stupid by saying something incredibly stupid yourself?

      1. All the cool kids are doing it, Hugh.

      2. Here’s my deal on tariffs and stuff. The Smart People all tell me that just getting rid of its tariffs immigration restrictions will make a nation much richer and better off. They being smarter than me, I assume they’re right. But I can’t figure out why at least one country in the world doesn’t drop all its trade restrictions, open its borders to all comers, thereby making itself rich while setting an example for the rest of the world.

        Certainly some politician could be persuaded to try it.

        As for Sasse, I seriously don’t think he’s the sharpest instrument in the slotted hardwood block.

        1. I’m not certain where to begin explaining to you that it takes more than one politician to alter policy in most countries. But as for why countries don’t do that, I would suggest you look up concentrated interest vs diffuse interests and take some time to consider who benefits from targeted trade restrictions and a militarized border.

          1. So, like lots of utopian dreams, open borders and unrestricted imports bump up against the constraints of the real world.

            This is not news.

          2. So it is the way to paradise but no one ever follows it because of those big mean politicians. That is pathetic even for you

            1. But appeals to majority are totally cool. Fuck, you’re stupid.

            2. Nope. He’s pointing out, correctly, that its among a long list of things where special interests, who really care a LOT, can override casual or ambiguous support among the general populace.

              Its also large among a list of things that are suicidally stupid from an economic standpoint, but that politicians have convinced people is some kind of “war” we must win, etc etc.

          3. Immigration poses an existential threat to the continued existence of any 1st world nation and its civilization as it exists now… To say that unrestricted immigration can’t or wouldn’t completely change a geographic area is insane. Take as example the European migration into North and South America… The USA and Canada ended up being what we are because of the cultural momentum of being settled by primarily British peoples, and then forcing the other already similar northern European peoples to adopt our way of life.

            Central and South America ended up what they are because they were settled by Spanish and Portuguese people.

            Note however that the Native American cultures were completely overran, and literally have ZERO chance at ever coming back in any real way. Open borders can do the same thing in the modern world, but in this case we’d be bringing in mostly LESS educated and LESS wealthy people than the current natives.

            On trade, I’m a bit mixed. I get advantages from less government interference… But unilaterally disarming in economic conflict, which is how every other nation treats it, still can have some disadvantages too.

        2. Why does this not apply to taxes/regulation/spending in general? Isn’t this essentially the right-wing protectionist version of the progressive line “If small government is so great, why do other countries love their big welfare states?”

          1. The same question applies. And the answer is, because of hitting the wall of flawed human nature and political reality.

            1. That explains why something exists, but if that’s your justification for any policy that’s pretty weak.

              1. I suppose that admitting my car engine won’t achieve ideal Carnot efficiency is a weak justification for thermodynamics. But I can’t do much about it..

                1. If you were actually just trying to claim “you will never reach your platonic ideal on this issue due to political reality” you might have a point. But you don’t do that, you use that argument to argue against any movement toward free trade or immigration.

                  I eagerly await the day when you reach the realization that this applies to your beliefs as well. Political reality dictates that mexico isn’t paying for the wall, abortion will be legal, and 11 million illegal immigrants aren’t getting deported en masse as much as it prevents totally free trade or immigration.

                  1. I realized that stuff before it was even talked about.

                    I eagerly await the day when libertarians organize and work hard for open and tariff-free borders. By organize, I mean do more than bitch because Gary Johnson doesn’t get in the presidential debates. I’m certainly not going to stop you. Have at it.

                    1. Immigration is an entirely different beast from tariffs. It has implications mere trade does not. Culturally, politically, etc. I am 100% against open borders in the world as it exists today.

                      Free trade however is a great idea. One however does not immediately become a lunatic by thinking that unilateral free trade has negative repercussions TRUE free trade would not. If we had true free trade with China, we would likely export 10s or 100s of billions more a year in products to them. AKA our economy would be bigger and stronger. With unilateral disarmament we have a smaller and weaker economy. The question then is whether we’re still better off with this shitty deal than with putting the thumbs screws on them to rebalance things, or indeed just as arm twisting to try to force them into a better deal.

                      I think a SANE and reasonable person can debate the above… Being an absolutist, especially in the face of many statistical facts that are not favorable towards unilateral dropping of tariffs, is simply silly. If I had to pick an absolutist position on the issue it would be “We can’t say for sure if it’s better.” Although I lean towards it being mildly bad for us.

                    2. You overstate the negative repercussions of immigration (*existential* threat? really?) and you understate the costs of enforcement of your particular view. How much will it cost, in wealth AND liberty, to create the police state required to keep out all the foreigners? It will cost far more than you’re willing to admit, and these costs will be borne on CITIZENS as well as on foreigners.

                    3. Bullshit.

                      I’m part Native American. I’m mostly German though. Why don’t you go ask a Native American what unlimited immigration can do to a society? I exist because of this ethnic replacement/melding, and am partially of both source groups… But I think we both know whose ethnicity calls all the shots, and created the rules and customs that govern this society… It ain’t my Native portion! So if you were a Native that preferred THAT culture, you were essentially annihilated, and your culture forever destroyed.

                      I think the amount of immigration we have had LATELY has dramatically changed the USA. Mostly in ways I don’t find favorable in terms of politics. Entire states have radically shifted because of it, like my home state of California. This has tilted national politics. It’s all been to the left… As a right-libertarian, I don’t find this comforting.

                    4. But imagine ACTUAL open borders. THAT could REALLY change the nature of this country. Anybody who denies it is a fool. If we had open borders, we could see a shift as dramatic as the replacement of the Native American population over a span of several decades or a century.

                      The culture of the NEW people coming in could very easily “overpower” the culture of those here now. As somebody who thinks American cultural ideals are better than other cultures, I think this would be a bad thing… Kinda like the Native American who liked his way of doing things would have thought in the 1800s. I like America as it is, and given that other cultures value freedom less, I don’t want to risk wrecking the relatively good thing we have going. So sue me.

        3. Great Britain pursued a policy of unilateral free trade from the mid-1800’s up until WWI and we all know what a shithole the British Empire was during the Victorian Era when they barely controlled half the planet.

          1. I’m not sure how running an empire that controlled–as you say– half the planet was supporting free trade.

            1. Because it was the wealth they gained from free trade that allowed them the luxury of supporting colonies. Contrary to popular belief, supporting an empire is actually a drain on the treasury and Great Britain gained far more from trade with the United States and Europe than they did with their own colonies. “Free trade” included eliminating the laws that prohibited their colonies from trading with foreign countries, recognizing that the cheaper the colonies could produce raw materials for export, the cheaper the British could produce finished goods. Great Britain imposed lower import/export taxes strictly as a revenue-raising measure and not as crony capitalist protectionism and figured everybody would be better off than if the government were picking winners and losers like the French and the Spanish and all the other mercantilist nations were doing.

              Kind of like how if Mexicans can produce cars for 3 dollars, how the fuck is allowing Americans to buy 3 dollar cars from Mexico somehow making Americans poorer?

              1. If it was such a good deal for the colonies, why was an army and navy necessary to hold the enterprise together?

              2. There are these things called numbers that come into play. I think MUCH if not MOST of the stuff we import is a good deal on the whole for the USA… However that does not mean EVERYTHING is good for the US economy/employment when taken altogether.

                An example: If we outsource widget making, and the people who made widgets can only gain employment paying half as well as making widgets, and the imported widgets cost 90% as much as the domestically made ones… Our economy is now 40% less productive, even though we’re ostensibly “saving” money by importing widgets.

                This is exactly what has happened in a TON of areas. We’re not saving 85% by importing, we’re often saving only 10-20% on many categories of goods. If those people don’t find comparable or better employment, the US economy has taken a net loss on the outsourcing. This is undoubtedly what has happened with many millions of jobs, and with the lowest labor force participation rate in decades many didn’t find ANY replacement job.

                There are pros and cons, it’s not ALL pros. I wish people could be honest about this.

        4. But I can’t figure out why at least one country in the world doesn’t drop all its trade restrictions, open its borders to all comers, thereby making itself rich while setting an example for the rest of the world.

          Because to do so, political leaders would have to give up a lot of power and control. And they aren’t willing to do that.

          As an extreme example, take a look at North Korea. That country could become a lot richer overnight if Kim Jong Un were to open up trade to the outside. But Kim doesn’t do it, because he would lose a great deal of control if he were to do so.

          Heck, just look at government spending in this country. There would be so much more wealth in this country if the government stopped taxing and borrowing to pay for a great deal of the ridiculous spending that we have. But the spending is a vehicle for the politicians to buy votes, and so they would rather have the votes to keep them in power, rather than the increased wealth that would be created in the absence of the taxes and spending.

          1. ALL

          2. Whoops, comment fail

            ALL governments pursue their own institutional self-interests before pursuing anything like “the common good” or “the national interest”. The US government is no exception.

            1. Yes, that’s kinda the point. Flawed human nature plus politicians and others who make use of it.

              1. The point is, we don’t have free trade not because free trade would make us worse off, but because free trade is a threat to those who wield power.

                So I’m not sure why you are criticizing Sasse, since he appears to be (at least outwardly) one of those politicians who does advocate for limiting their own power in the name of freer trade.

                1. The one thing Sasse is not doing, despite lots of verbiage to the contrary, is limiting government power in any meaningful sense.

                  1. Gotta love how the left (and the oxymoronic left-libertarians) suddenly love neo-cons.

        5. *Some* politician could. The ones that have *power* though? No. Because that would mean relinquishing the power they fought so hard to get.

        6. “But I can’t figure out why at least one country in the world doesn’t drop all its trade restrictions, open its borders to all comers, thereby making itself rich while setting an example for the rest of the world.”

          I can’t figure out why at least one country doesn’t drop all its welfare thereby making itself richer while setting an example for the rest of the world.

          1. BTW, if you want to see free trade in action check out hellholes like Singapore and Hong Kong who have all but removed tariffs on imports.

            1. Honk kong is communist china. They are not free anymore.

              Singapore has decent free trade policies but they dont really have anything to trade.

              1. Where did I say ANYTHING about ‘freedom’? Hong Kong also had free trade LONG before China took over.

            2. You do realize comparing city states to the largest economy in the world doesn’t mean anything right?

              Example: The entire economy of a hypothetical small nation could be built on a single, high wage industry. Say banking. Or Oil. They would have no need to produce things, just do their single industry well, so they import it all. This makes logical sense for them. However a nation of 330 million people cannot employ everybody working ONLY in a single industry. Therefore you MUST be diversified into other areas.

              The argument I would make is that the USA, China, India, and probably many other mid sized nations like the UK, Germany, Japan, etc are simply too big to completely throw manufacturing under the bus. There just isn’t enough productive employment to go around without it.

              Germany and Japan BOTH have about double the number of people working in manufacturing as the USA. These are the next best economies in the world after the USA, not backwater nations doing it wrong. The fact that Italy, Spain, and other so-so borderline 2nd world nations have larger manufacturing sectors than the USA is a little embarrassing IMO.

              We didn’t replace our industrial jobs with BETTER higher productivity jobs as is required for free trade theory to pencil out… We replaced them with lower productivity jobs that pay less well. IMO this is only because barrier dropping has been unilateral. I think true free trade would have worked out far better.

              1. You comment is so full of idiocy it’s hard to know where to begin.

                “You do realize comparing city states to the largest economy in the world doesn’t mean anything right?”

                Basic economics applies to city states the same way is applies to large countries. Comparative Advantage applies regardless.

                “The argument I would make is that the USA, China, India, and probably many other mid sized nations like the UK, Germany, Japan, etc are simply too big to completely throw manufacturing under the bus. There just isn’t enough productive employment to go around without it.”

                Who’s ‘throwing manufacturing under the bus’? The US produces more today than ever:

                “Germany and Japan BOTH have about double the number of people working in manufacturing as the USA. These are the next best economies in the world after the USA.”

                Wrong. The US, Germany and Japan (funny you mentioned them as they’ve been stagnant since the early 90s) aren’t even in the top 10 of the fast growing and freest economies.

                “We didn’t replace our industrial jobs with BETTER higher productivity jobs as is required for free trade theory to pencil out… We replaced them with lower productivity jobs that pay less well. IMO this is only because barrier dropping has been unilateral. I think true free trade would have worked out far better.”

                Another assertion with no substance.

                You grasp of basic economics would make Bernie Sander proud.

                1. Ugh.

                  Our manufacturing sector is far smaller as a portion of our economy than it used to be. This is common as it has been dropping as a percentage in all 1st world nations… BUT our manufacturing sector is about HALF the size as a proportion of the economy as it is in Germany and Japan. It’s also lower than crap countries like Italy and Spain.

                  It is a statistical fact that most of the new employment in the USA has been in extra shit jobs, or extra awesome jobs. The problem is low IQ people that used to be able to work mid tier jobs can’t move up to the awesome jobs, and have slid DOWN the ladder to lower productivity work. This shows in stats.

                  Japan/Germany are the 2nd and 3rd largest 1st world economies in the world in terms of total GDP, and also some of the highest per capita GDPs out of decent sized countries. You cannot compare Switzerland to China in all ways. Some things are universal truths… But suggesting EVERYBODY in China become a banker because it pays so well, it doesn’t work. Too many people.

                  NO 1st world country has been in the fastest growing GDP running for a long time… So not sure how relevant that is.

                  You’re just a daft absolutist who doesn’t even want to contemplate there may be tradeoffs or pros/cons to stuff in the real world.

  5. You can’t expect every deal to be perfect. After all, he had stunning successes negotiating with North Korea and Russia.

    1. Don’t forget his amazing greatest deal ever with Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Europe.

    2. After all, he had stunning successes negotiating with North Korea and Russia.

      DAMN YOU!
      I must now buy a new keyboard. I spit coffee all over this one, laughing so hard.
      Then again, that may be worth it.

  6. Corker? Mr Lets Make The Iran Deal Not a Treaty?

    Solid. Really solid.

    1. Trump has less with than Iran when he took office!!!
      He keeps FAILING at his “tough” negotiating (bullying )
      His failures as President are approaching his failures as a “businessman” (in a fraction of the time)

      1. He pulled us out of Paris and we are STILL actually hitting the goals that Europe is ignoring.

        He pulled us out of an embarrassing deal with Iran.

        …oh wait, I’m talking to a Hihn puppet. Nevermind.

        1. embarrassing deal with Iran

          What an odd thing to say. How was it embarrassing?

  7. Uh-Oh, thisi will REALLY piss off the Trumptards!

    They’ll scurry like the cockroaches they are — to SHOUT DOWN any and all “inconvenient” ideas … like the LEFT-wing snowflakes they emulate.

    They’ve sold their soul to the Orange Satan, and are now helpless.
    Don’t blame the, Pity them

    (Ellis backs out of the room)

    1. Oh, get your ass back here, Mr. CutAndPaste.

    2. Hihn is set up to getone of hissocks banned again.

  8. Time for Congress to assert its constitutional powers.

    1. “I’m going to be more assertive — if that’s OK with you.”

    2. With constitutional power comes constitutional responsibility. We’ll pass.

      /Congress

    3. That’s what ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after all.

    4. Jeff, they didn’t get this job to risk their job by doing their job.

    5. Chemjeff hates congress.

  9. Sen. Ben Sasse

    Please tell me that’s pronounced sass-y!

    1. In my head, it always has been. Shh. No one ruin it for me.

  10. ” When Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, wrote to Congress last year seeking a TPA for a NAFTA renegotiation, he specifically requested permission “to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico.” That permission can’t be applied to a bilateral deal between the U.S. and Mexico any more than it could be applied to a bilateral deal between the U.S. and Brazil. ”

    … I have permissions to initiate negotiations with mom and dad. Mom isn’t having any of it. I am not allowed to continue to negotiate with dad? Is there some legal something that makes the OP so confident of their statement?

    1. Sure you can negotiate with Dad. But, you miss out on the fast track approval designated for a deal with your parents.

      I guess you’re getting evicted from the basement?

    2. Legally speaking, there is indeed a big difference between “Mom AND Dad” and “Mom OR Dad”.

      1. If Congress doesn’t approve, I assume he just pulls out of NAFTA completely. He already sent the letter.

        Trump has Congress by the shorthairs, and it is their own fault.

  11. OT: I’m surprised Bernie’s latest proposal (a 100% tax on corporations for all welfare received by their employees) hasn’t gotten more attention. I mean it’s true it has no chance of going anywhere so it isn’t exactly relevant, but it might be the most transparently stupid piece of economic legislation I have ever seen.

    1. Is he saying people with jobs get welfare?

      1. You can get definitely get welfare with a job (particularly if it’s part-time – I didn’t read into the details of his proposal to know whether it applies to only full-time employees), especially if you have kids.

        1. Wouldn’t that just cause companies to never hire anyone on welfare? That is so stupid it is not even clear what it means

          1. It’s not the intention, but it certainly would be the result.

          2. Congrats you’re smarter than Bernie Sanders.

            1. Low bar to clear…

      2. Yes John. It’s been that way for years now.

        1. Clinton’s welfare reform, right?

          1. Yes, that got the ball rolling.

            It continues to amaze me, in this day and age, of those who learn about people who are on welfare and nonetheless have a job, and the first thing they think of is “welfare fraud”.

          2. If you’re counting all means tested programs as welfare there were others before that. The EITC for instance goes back to the 70s or 80s

  12. http://www.dailywire.com/news/…..en-shapiro

    Meanwhile, the left fucking love science just so long as it doesn’t challenge their superstitions. And no surprise people are not born trans

    1. Look at this statistic from your link:

      “Of the parents who provided information about their child’s friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified,” Littman said. “A group with 50 percent of its members becoming transgender-identified represents a rate that is more 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.”

      http://www.dailywire.com/news/…..en-shapiro

      Holy fucking shit!

      1. Well, if you tell boys that thinking ‘If I had boobies I’d play with them all day’ is equivalent to being ‘genderfluid’ . . .

  13. “Under the terms of a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) passed in 2017, Congress has agreed to let the administration negotiate trade deals and promises to subject the final version to a straight yes-or-no vote?essentially promising that individual members won’t try to muck up the deal at the last minute.”

    This is, more or less, necessary in order to get foreign countries to negotiate in good faith. Why should they make concessions they can be hammered for at home if there’s little chance that the president’s deal will make it through the senate?

    There are very few real estate developers that want to build a church. There are a number of firms that specialize in that business, and they typically change twice as much or more than you would for a corporate client for a build to suit. Why is that?

    Because having to deal with 100 highly involved women who disagree on everything from the size of the kitchen to the color of the carpet is bad enough, then you’ve got another `100 highly involved men, who can’t agree on where the BBQ should go, where the parking should go, and whether and where they should put a softball field. And all 200 of them are changing their minds all the time!

    You’d be stupid to subject yourself to that unless you were getting paid two or three times what you would charge a corporate client with a design review committee and a CEO.

    1. When a church does it right, they assign a few construction guys to make decisions, and then their decisions are submitted to the church board for an up or down vote.

      It’s the same thing with trade. Why would a foreign prime minster negotiate a trade deal, make concessions, and open himself up to criticism back home for those concessions–without even knowing whether five dozen senators are on board with the plan at all and any one of them could trash the whole thing?

      1. The church is voluntary the government is not.

        1. Huh?

          Making treaties with other countries is a legitimate function of government. We elect senators to ratify them. We elect presidents to negotiate them. It’s one of the few things they’re supposed to do.

          It’s within the proper purview of democracy.

          Obama entering into a treaty without submitting it for the senate to even consider is involuntary.

          A treaty being ratified by a duly elected senate is not a good example of involuntary.

          1. A treaty being ratified by a duly elected senate is not a good example of involuntary.

            51% of the foxes in office agreeing on what’s for dinner is not voluntary for the chickens.

            1. 51% of the foxes in office agreeing on what’s for dinner is not voluntary for the chickens.

              Thing is, WE’RE the foxes. The chickens don’t get a vote.

              Those other foxes, the 49%–they wanted lamb.

              There’s no getting out of this without something getting eaten.

          2. Huh?

            This is why libertarians aren’t taken seriously. We really need to separate ourselves from the crazy uncle anarchists and sometimes-anarchists.

            1. +1

  14. “Trump’s Trade Deal with Mexico Looks Like a Dud”

    What are you comparing it to?

    Are you comparing it to pulling out of NAFTA completely–without any trade deal?

    Or are you comparing it to some other free trade option that only exists in your fantasies?

    It’s a dud compared to my free trade fantasies.

    It may be better or worse than the NAFTA agreement we have now.

    It’s probably a whole lot better than having no agreement at all.

    Calling it an unequivocal dud without context is unreasonable.

    1. They did at least say it looks like a dud, as far as I know nobody’s actually seen a text of the proposal, there may not actually be a text of the proposal yet. But from what we’ve seen and heard, there’s little reason to expect this to be any kind of fantastically great deal the likes of which the world has never seen. It’s quite likely the deal is going to be shot down and Trump will blame it all on those obstructionist Republicans in Congress just like the last president did.

      1. But of course there’s this:

        Other Republicans have raised concerns about the lack of specifics in the plan, which the White House intends to formally present to Congress on Friday.

        I gotta tell you, I’m not going to be real surprised when “the plan” that gets presented to Congress is a half-sheet of pencil-scribbled note from Trump’s doctor saying “We’re gonna do a great deal with Mexico and you’re gonna love it. It’s gonna be yuge, fantastic, believe me.” That seems to be the extent of most of Trump’s “plans”.

      2. At some point, the UAW will need to start taking account of their members, and the Democratic Party may need to start taking account of the UAW. They’ve been so Democrat for so long.

        Far be it from me to stand up for the UAW. But I wouldn’t necessarily bet on every Democrat voting against an agreement whose primary beneficiary appears to be the UAW.

  15. So, where’s LC to defend this as the bestest negotiation ever and how we’re now getting ‘less managed’ trade due to Trump’s amazing ability to twist the opposing negotiators around his little finger?

    1. I will wait to see if the numbers pan out.

      The media freaks out early in the day because Trump won and then the media freaks out because the senate might ratify the trade deal.

      Trump still gets credit for cracking some of our trading partners from the solidarity from negotiating with Trump. In less than 90 days no less.

  16. Other Republicans have raised concerns about the lack of specifics in the plan, which the White House intends to formally present to Congress on Friday.

    It’s a dud, but we don’t have specifics, but we’re going to complain about that even though it is only a few days away.

  17. As I have said the whole time along, I don’t know if Trump will make much headway in improvements… He may not… BUT I still don’t have a problem with being “mean,” AKA not bending over like a bitch, in an attempt to do so. Personally I think the only reason we can’t force TRUE free trade on basically every other important nation in the world is because our own politicians are too big of pussies to put the pressure on them that would get it done.

    We could DESTROY the Chinese economy overnight if we wanted to. They cannot replace the USA as a nation to export to… We however have the entire rest of the poor world to import things from. This is called the upper hand. If we used the “nuclear” option with all these other countries, every one of them would drop their barriers immediately out of sheer necessity.

    Being hard nosed in pursuit of a noble goal doesn’t bother me. Alas, Trump just doesn’t have the juice to do what needs to be done to create true global free trade. Hopefully this ends up being an incremental improvement though, which really was the best that could be expected.

    1. Vek, Trump is not fighting for freer trade. He is fighting for “a better deal for America”. Which to him means a deal rigged more in our favor. If we was merely being a jerk fighting for a higher principle, that would be one thing. But he is being a jerk fighting for narrow national interests. That makes his efforts less than praiseworthy.

      1. Trump offered free trade. They refused.

        Trump is trying to get as free trade for the USA as he can negotiate.

      2. Uhhh, given that he’s trying to lower barriers for American companies abroad… And offering maintaining or even further lowering barriers we have with other countries… I’m pretty sure that equals freer (but not absolutely free) trade. Although he did offer that too, and nobody took up the offer.

        It’s like you seem to think free trade only exists if the deals are against our favor? If we’re going to have shit deals where we’re having to do horse trading, which seems to be all anybody else is willing to do right now, we might as well make them to our advantage, right? I mean it doesn’t make sense to have managed trade that is AGAINST our interests does it? If the best you will get is a deal rigged in somebodies favor, it might as well be rigged in our favor methinks…

  18. Not sure why the headline wasn’t–

    NeverTrumpers and TDS sufferers Hate Mexico Deal–Also Water, Still Wet

    It may be crap, Chicken Littles, but let’s wait to see what the reality is before panicking

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

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.