Tuesday, July 3, 2018

NAFTA talks have something about it for just about everyone to hate

When it comes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, it seems we truly have a policy meant to unite us – since there’s something in it that arouses the ire in just about everybody.

The logo that expresses hostile concept to many
The deal that was supposed to bring the United States into a sense of unity with the other two major nations that comprise the North American continent seems to do little more than tick people off.

TO THE POINT where it has President Donald J. Trump finding every excuse he can come up with to say he’s going to kill the trade deal off. While Mexico’s newly-elected president is going about saying he fully intends to keep the deal in place.

Which means we have yet another issue upon which the two nations can’t agree upon.

As things stand, the United States is negotiating these days with Mexico and Canada to supposedly come up with a new trade deal for the North American continent to abide by. Supposedly something that will be more equitable than the current deal – which dates back to the Clinton presidential administration.

Although if you’re old enough to remember back that you, you’ll know that it really wasn’t Bill Clinton who came up with the idea for NAFTA.

THE TRADE DEAL was the goal of former President George Bush (the elder, not his son). Yet his one-term presidency managed to come to an end before he could get Congress to go along with ratification of the deal.
TRUMP: Won't sign off now

In a sense that the Clinton Administration wanted to start off with a sense of bipartisanship, it took over the lead on NAFTA, which ultimately got it passed by U.S. officials – thereby making us a partner in the deal that was meant to keep nationalist concerns from interfering with the ability of goods to be shipped across the three North American nations.

Almost as though we were one with Mexico and Canada.

Which is an ideal I’m sure people who back this Age of Trump we’re now in absolutely despise, and which is the big reason the current U.S. president is so eager to back us out of the deal.
LOPEZ: Wants NAFTA to remain

OR ELSE FIND some sort of terms that will allow U.S. interests to think of themselves as the preeminent power and the other nations as subordinate.

Keep in mind that the original ideal behind NAFTA was to keep our local regulations from interfering with inter-American trade. None of those pesky union contracts meant to protect workers’ powers were allowed to interfere with trade.

All those environmental regulations we have developed to protect our eco-system but which other countries have no equivalent for themselves? They’re also bad, very bad, in terms of thinking of trade.

Which is why organized labor has always hated NAFTA; it was perceived as a way of undermining their influence. While also making them question the sincerity of Clinton’s “liberal” political credentials.
CLINTON: Gets the credit/blame

YET THE IDEOLOGUES amongst us always thought that the idea of trying to promote the North American nations as equals and boosting trade amongst us was somehow a subversive thought. The fact that it came up during the Clinton presidential years was all the more reason to mis-trust it.

Hence, we had Trump say recently that he’s not going to sign off on any renegotiated NAFTA deal until after the Nov. 6 elections – probably hoping that a change in political partisanship will strengthen his hand so he can be even further hard-headed in his negotiations tactics.
BUSH: His administration's idea

Yet Andres Lopez Obrador said Monday he’s going to do everything he can to keep the current NAFTA deal in place – largely because he’s the guy whose campaign’s ideology has been compared to that of failed presidential dreamer Bernie Sanders, and who sees himself as the anti-Trump.

Oddly enough, Trump’s refusal to act soon may play into Mexican interests – because Lopez’ presidential term doesn’t actually begin until December. Which makes it very likely that cheap rhetoric about NAFTA will join all the stupid talk about a border wall that will clutter up the political rants we’ll hear the rest of the year – on both sides of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte.


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