NAFTA -This guy stands for nothing and will back down on anything (SAD)

Now he’s backing down on his earliest and most consistent campaign promise, getting rid of NAFTA.

Going after NAFTA is what tilted the Electoral College in Trumps favor. Three states that made the difference Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania all were tight, but went Trump most likely because of how widely hated NAFTA is in those states.

Trump agrees not to terminate NAFTA at this time

Flip flopper in chief Donald Trump on Wednesday told the leaders of NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico that the United States will not immediately move to exit the regional free trade agreement.

The announcement followed US media reports that Trump was considering giving formal notice of pulling the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In phone calls to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump “agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time,” the White House said in a statement. It added that “the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries.”

Trump campaigned for president in 2016 on a platform that included renegotiating or abandoning the trade agreement, which he claimed was “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere” in a September debate with Hillary Clinton.

NAFTA was established January 1, 1994 under then-president Bill Clinton. It removes tariffs and allows a free flow of goods between the three partners. Trump has repeatedly derided NAFTA as a “disaster” and claimed the deal resulted in millions of lost US industrial jobs, mostly to Mexico.

“It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through re-negotiation,” Trump said, according to the White House statement. “It is an honour to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”

Both conversations were “pleasant and productive,” the statement said.

The US trade deficit in goods and services last year with Mexico was $62 billion, but with Canada the US had a surplus of $8 billion. Two White House officials told Politico news website on Wednesday that a draft executive order for the United States to exit NAFTA was in the final stages of review, and could be unveiled within a week or two. The New York Times had quoted a senior administration official saying Trump was likely to sign such an executive order.

But late on Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross brushed off the reports as “rumour.”

“There was a rumour that there would be an executive order, just a rumour, and my practice is to comment on things we have actually done or are doing as opposed to commenting on rumours,” Ross said.

According to The Washington Post, Trump is expected to tell Congress that he intends to re-negotiate the deal, but also hold the threat of exiting the agreement to gain more concessions from Mexico and Canada.

The administration’s talk of exiting NAFTA has run into opposition from several prominent Republican lawmakers, including border senators John McCain of Arizona and John Cornyn of Texas, Politico reported.

“I’d be glad to have re-negotiation of some of the terms of it, because a lot of time has passed,” McCain told Politico. However a withdrawal would “be disgraceful and a disaster.”

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs in recent days on some imports of Canadian timber and threatened to retaliate against Canadian moves that harm US dairy farmers. Timber and milk, however, are not covered by NAFTA.

The softwood lumber dispute between Washington and Ottawa has been ongoing for at least 35 years, with US producers accusing their Canadian counterparts of exporting lumber at subsidized prices and harming US businesses. Lumber is an important component of the massive US construction and home-building industry. Most US homes are made with wood framing and some entirely of wood.

Earlier this week, the US Commerce Department announced it was imposing tariffs of up to 24 percent on Canadian softwood lumber. Canada’s dairy sector is protected by tariffs on imports and controls on domestic production as a way to support prices for the country’s farmers.

The latest dairy trade row was triggered when Canada extended those policies to apply to ultrafiltered milk, a product used in cheese production and at the centre of a thriving US export business.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “NAFTA -This guy stands for nothing and will back down on anything (SAD)

  1. As Trump has recently found out, the Midwest corn states LOVE Mexico, they export huge amounts of corn every year as Mexico loves our corn. So the corn state senators are not going to shoot down NAFTA…

    Something a lot of people don’t know is how much fresh produce comes in from Mexico. Yes, California produces bumper crops and has long been considered the salad bowl of the US but Mexico, well their warmer climate, lower business overheads, large labor force to draw on they’re making out choices in the supermarkets that much tastier.

    I have a friend who likes to make his own pickles, which is usually a summer season crop in Humboldt. They grow them year around in Mexico, so I go to a certain website to find out how many truckloads (each TL is considered to carry 40,000 lbs of produce) have recently crossed the Mexico/US border and which border crossings.
    A couple truck loads means they’ll be high priced and sold in specialty markets, 20+ truckloads a week and either they’re going almost directly to the packing plants that make pickles or there’s going to be a lot of cukes in stores at affordable prices.
    When a friend was planning on Mexican food for her daughter’s wedding and knowing California avocados weren’t in season, I checked the shipments. Good supply of Hass, prices not bad at terminal markets (another report).
    So to illustrate how much we’re getting from Mexico, I ran a report for all products from all crossing points.
    1,540 truck loads crossed on April 26th
    That’s 30,800 tons of produce; 61,600,000 pounds.
    On one day.
    32 TL Mangos.
    Want to make green salsa? 9 TL of Tomatillos
    25 TL Red Bell Peppers
    40 (yes, forty) TL Zucchinis
    107 TL Tomatoes (regular)
    120 of the plum (Roma) type

    On Monday, April 24th 2, 266 TL total.
    Different days, different commodities.

    Now try to imagine your local grocery store without both the ‘regular’ produce and the specialty (herbs, ethnic produce, short growing season, etc) that we expect to find in the produce section.
    And Mexico has gotten to be much better with pest control without overuse (or use) of pesticides, so what they’re sending meets the USDA standards. They also produce a lot of organic crops because it’s a good market.

    But if the government starts talking about controls and cancelling NAFTA, well, either the prices are going to rise (and sizably) or there just won’t be the choices we’re used to.
    The fruits and vegetables we have bought can be trucked to the LA/LB harbors and exported to Asia. It’s already happening.
    And Ensenada handles cargo ships as well as cruise liners…

    I mentioned cucumbers for pickles. The US had always grown it’s own for packing, the same with tomatoes for canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and so on. But even with California’s long growing season (ditto areas of the Midwest) there is not a constant supply of the fresh product for the packing plants to keep open year around. I remember going past the Contadina plant in the Central Valley and the small mountains of tomato waste that would be handled ‘later’, when the packing was over. People nearby who worked there knew it was a season job. But agriculture has changed and so has the packing industry.

    For those who know where they can buy fresh-from-the-field tomatoes or cukes, they’ll have the jars and lids ready for another season (I was one of those, once) and NAFTA changes won’t affect them.
    But I hope the big businesses that DO rely on regular, affordable produce to supply their packing plants and the warehouses that send out ready-to-eat items for home use or restaurant trade will make their need for NAFTA loud and clear.
    Or what will the Trump restaurants serve their customers?

    Like

  2. Trump campaigned for president in 2016 on a platform that included renegotiating or abandoning the trade agreement, which he claimed was “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere” in a September debate with Hillary Clinton.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s