Economy

Trump Says He’s “Terminating” NAFTA. Maybe. Who Knows?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump announced the fake NAFTA "deal" with Mexico that we expected to see last week, but he also said something else more alarming.

Trump also said he wants to "terminate" the North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Donald Trump says he’ll be “terminating” the North American Free Trade Agreement as he pursues a deal with Mexico and starts negotiations with Canada.

Trump said Monday during an Oval Office event that he’ll be calling the emerging agreement the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.” He says it will mark the end of the NAFTA name. [...]

He says, “We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” adding that, “Canada’s signature is required.”

So, does he really intend to withdraw from NAFTA, or does he just want to change the name?

Unfortunately, Trump has no idea what he's talking about so we have no way of knowing what he really meant until someone from the White House corrects him. During a televised statement from the oval office this morning, Trump actually referred to a deal with "Canada" before one of his aides corrected him that his fake deal is with Mexico.

In any case, Trump would need approval from Congress to withdraw from NAFTA and any tentative "deal" he reaches will also have to be approved by Congress.

What we know about the non-binding agreement trade officials reached with their Mexican counterparts tells us it's mostly cosmetic but could improve the lives of Mexican automobile workers by raising their minimum wage to $16 per hour. We may Make Mexico Great Again because their government officials are the only ones who know what they're doing, but that's assuming a lot. That's assuming this will ever become law.

  • muselet

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that Mexico had agreed to ensure that 75 percent of automotive content be produced within the trade bloc (up from a current 62.5 percent) to receive duty-free benefits and that 40 percent to 45 percent be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour.

    That sounds an awful lot like the Office of the US Trade Representative being too clever by half. Presumably, those changes are intended as a shot at China, but it’s hard to say. The North American content rule could also be a crude attempt to kneecap the Mercedes Benz and BMW assembly plants in the US. Again, it’s hard to say.

    Without Canada, I doubt any deal would be agreed in Congress, which means this was all a lot of wasted effort and Donald Trump’s trade war with the rest of North America will continue unabated.

    And all this tsuris is happening because Trump hates abiding by others’ agreements. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up one morning and find he’s demanded the US renegotiate terms of surrender with Germany and Japan.

    –alopecia

  • David Greenberg

    Starting to hear chants of “lock him up”, but that usually refers to prison. This “thing” needs to be locked up in a mental institution, as it is one of the sickest beings I have ever been aware of. It is evil in one of evil’s most refined states.

    • mnpollio

      Well said, but I think that description also fits the people in his inner circle and Trumpers still supporting him out in “real America”.

    • It just so happens most of our remaining mental institutions are connected to prisons. Or they are the prisons.