Now-President Donald Trump has been remarkably consistent in his thoughts on global trade.
Let us again flash all the way back to 1988. Then mere global businessman Trump was on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” On which he said:
“I do get tired of seeing the country ripped off….I do get tired of seeing what’s happening….How we’re really making other people live like kings while we’re not….I think people are tired of seeing the United States ripped off.”
Trump for years railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
One of the very many problems with NAFTA? It allowed Communist China to royally screw us.
This from 2006:
“The plan is to ship containers of cheap goods produced by under-market labor in China and the Far East into North America via Mexican ports. From the Mexican ports, Mexican truck drivers and railroad workers will transport the goods across the Mexican border with Texas.”
This from 2013:
This from 2014:
“China has significantly penetrated many of the new markets opened by NAFTA….
“The honeymoon ended in 2001 when China entered the World Trade Organisation and began to enjoy similar access to the US market….
“In 2000, the US supplied Mexico with 60.8% of its office machine and computer imports and 70% of the peripheral parts for those machines. Ten years later, the US held only 10% of the Mexican import market in each sector.
“By contrast, China held 13% of the office machine import market and 5% of the parts market in Mexico in 2000, and, nine years later, it had 48% and 58% of those markets respectively.”
This from 2016:
“For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has controlled the bulk of goods transferred between the Pacific and the Atlantic. For much of that history, this monumental feat of engineering was under the control of the United States.
“But this is no longer the case. In May, Panama’s largest port was purchased by a Chinese company called Landbridge Group.”
DC spent decades pretending NAFTA was fantastic. And was absolutely not being profoundly abused by Communist China.
Moreover, DC spent decades pretending trade was a universal panacea. That exchanging goods and services with a nation – would eradicate all ill will with that nation.
This, of course, is folly.
This folly was certainly the excuse offered by gi-normous business interests when they in the early 1970s began demanding Washington, D.C. reverse a half century of Let’s Starve Communists policy. The policy so brilliantly imposed upon Communist Russia.
While we were were starving the Soviet Union out of existence – we began feeding Communist China. Under the ridiculous premise that the Communists in China – would stop acting like Communists.
Except Communist China continued to be Communist.
A half century later…oops.
It turns out Communists – never, ever open up. Unless their famine level forces them to do so.
Trump understands all of this.
He understands the trade deals we’ve for decades cut with all of the planet’s many nations have been awful for US.
And he understands Communist China – is Communist. And will always and everywhere behave in Communist fashion – until absolutely forced to do otherwise.
So he entered the White House demanding new trade deals everywhere.
And he understood deals with Mexico-Canada and Communist China – are intrinsically linked.
So Trump prioritized as primary a new NAFTA. Because Mexico is our largest trade partner – and Canada our second largest. And because he knew a new deal – had to halt Communist China’s abuses.
So Trump negotiated the new NAFTA first. WAY before any prospective deal with Communist China.
Born was USMCA – the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Unfortunately for Trump, the United States and the vast majority of the planet – We the People made the egregious error in 2018 of electing a Democrat House majority.
So the USMCA has languished in the Democrat House of Representatives for now more than a year.
All the while, our roaring economy could have been even more roaring.
And Trump has had to negotiate with Communist China – and everyone else on the planet – with one arm tied by Democrats behind his back.
“USMCA’s provisions could find their way into other trade deals, based on Trump administration’s reworking of NAFTA.”
They certainly should.
And would. If Congress would frigging pass the thing.
Trump can’t really use the USMCA as a trade template until Congress passes it.
Because the planet won’t take it seriously until Congress passes it.
So here’s a thought, Congress: