August 28, 2018

US and Mexico Reach Trade Agreement

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

, putting pressure on Canada to agree to new terms on auto trade and dispute settlement rules to remain part of the three-nation pact.” (Reuters)

Both sides think Canada should be included in the final deal:

See past issues

The left is critical of the lack of specifics in the deal, and the fact that Canada has not yet been brought in.

“What [this] may amount to in the end is some tweaks to the existing agreement—albeit ones that concern some of the most significant issues in the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico.”

The Atlantic

Nothing in this deal has anything to do with milk or lumber or fisheries or financial services or anything else. It’s just a couple of smallish changes to the section of NAFTA about cars.”

Mother Jones

“The Administration says it will proceed with the new deal regardless of what happens with Canada, but that promise could run up against several roadblocks... Mexico has insisted that any NAFTA deal be trilateral... and Congress might reject a deal that doesn’t include all three countries.” (Time

“Without question, some U.S. workers lost their jobs as a result of NAFTA... But all this additional economic activity created many more jobs than were lost... If there is one thing that could be a drag on growth, it would be unraveling NAFTA.”

Bloomberg

Counterpoint: “Studies from the Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Research Service have found mostly small effects on US jobs and economic growth... it’s not clear that NAFTA ever had a big impact on North America’s economy — which means tweaking it probably won’t, either.”

Boston Globe

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right is generally supportive of a deal updating NAFTA.

The right is generally supportive of a deal updating NAFTA.

“Trump understood the simple math that countries with which we have trade deficits would have to come to the negotiating table... These countries... cannot afford to lose access to our $20 trillion economy—the world’s largest. Trump realized the power this gives us and decided to use it to level the playing field for American workers.”

Fox News

“Not exactly radical, but positive... At the rate things are going, this could be the shortest ‘trade war’ on record.”

Power Line Blog

Counterpoint: One “problem, a large one, is that the bilateral deal strips current protections from most U.S. investors in Mexico. Oil and gas, telecom and power-generation investors will retain what they now have. Others will be protected only against physical expropriation... We’re glad to see Mr. Trump step back from the suicide of NAFTA withdrawal, but on the public evidence so far his new deal is worse.”

Wall Street Journal

Yet “news of the deal appeared to reassure investors that the Trump administration can make solid progress on trade deals... The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both hit record highs. The Nasdaq was up 0.91 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.77 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly more than 1 percent.”

Breitbart

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Sexually frustrated dolphin named Zafar terrorizes tourists on French beach.

The Telegraph

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