Economy

Trump’s Trade Reps. Make More Ridiculous NAFTA Demands

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The next round trade talks between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. have begun which means it's time for the Trump regime to show its ass again.

Mexican and Canadian trade officials have been understandably offended by Trump's demands that favorable treatment for specific American industries be codified into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but Trump's trade representatives have gone a step further and asked for special treatment for specific companies.

The AT&T telecommunications company moved into the Mexican market after the government passed a law to break up a monopoly in the market. The Mexican Supreme Court later struck down part of that law, subjecting AT&T to higher costs, but Trump's trade officials want it codified into NAFTA to make life easier for AT&T.

From Reuters:

“AT&T, which is North American, asked its government to reflect its interests in the negotiation,” [Economic Minister Ildefonso Guajardo] said in an interview on local radio without specifying the details of the U.S. proposal. “You cannot have an agreement... that gives a tailor’s cut, a perfect handiwork, to a specific company.” [...]

“What’s surprising (about the telecommunications proposal) is that there is the principle that we are negotiating as three countries,” said Mexico Senator Gerardo Flores, who was briefed on the proposal.

“And suddenly the United States puts on the table a proposal that demands commitments specifically from Mexico, which converts the negotiation into a bilateral negotiation.”

The provision Trump's trade representatives are asking for would only apply to Mexico, meaning it wouldn't necessarily help Mexican or Canadian companies gain access to other markets. As the Mexican senator states, this is effectively a bilateral negotiation between two countries, not all of North America.

It's remarkable that Mexican government and trade officials are displaying far more integrity in these negotiations than our own. That shouldn't come as a surprise given that Trump appointed the people who are representing all of us today, but it will take a generation to come back from this. Trump has already change the world for the worse.

On the other hand, saying he has 'changed the world for the worse' may be a poor choice of words. I think he has and will certainly change the world for the worse for Americans, but other countries are going to be just fine without us. They may be better off freeing their economies from the machinations of American political dysfunction.

If nearly 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump, imagine how other countries must feel dealing with him. Foreign officials who deal with Trump's goon squad are eating untold buckets of shit right now while remaining more dignified than their American counterparts. And those are just our closest allies and trade partners.

  • muselet

    Good grief.

    The Trump administration negotiates with less subtlety than a Mafia goon.

    –alopecia

  • Christopher Foxx

    It’s remarkable that Mexican government and trade officials are displaying far more integrity in these negotiations than our own.

    Why?

    I know you’re not meaning to imply that it’s remarkable that Mexicans somehow fall short on integrity. And nobody should really expect Trump’s representatives to have much, if any.

    • JMAshby

      Yes, I understood how that sounds when I wrote it.The very next sentence and following paragraphs address that.

      In other words, it’s remarkable that our own officials have no integrity. They have no integrity because Trump chose them. Mexican and Canadian officials are dealing with neanderthals representing America.

      • Christopher Foxx

        The very next sentence and following paragraphs address that.

        Sure. It’s just that opening could be read in a way, as I wrote, that wasn’t your intent. Glad it struck you that way as well.

  • There’s a scene in Star Trek IV where the giant whale probe is causing havoc with Earth’s weather systems, disrupting power, and Starfleet can’t stop the probe. The President of the Federation, trapped on Earth, sends a message out to the rest of the Federation, in part:

    “We cannot survive unless a way can be found to respond to the Probe. Further communications may not be possible. Save your energy, Save yourselves. Avoid the Planet Earth at all costs. …Farewell.”

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past year, but substituting the word “Trump” for “the Probe” and “America” for “the Planet Earth”.