Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Trump to Renegotiate NAFTA With Canada and Mexico

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The day before he signed an important executive order to withdraw from the negotiating process for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), President Trump indicated that he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

Reuters reported that during a swearing-in ceremony for his top White House advisors on January 22, Trump said, “We will be starting negotiations having to do with NAFTA. We are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border.”

“Anybody ever hear of NAFTA?” Trump joked at the ceremony. “I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA. But we’re going to start re-negotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border, and Mexico has been terrific, actually, terrific; and the president has been really very amazing. I think we're going to have a very good result for Mexico, for the United States, for everybody involved.” the president was quoted by Politico as saying.

The White House website now has a page headed, “Trade Deals Working For All Americans” that explains the Trump strategy for trade:

This strategy starts by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and making certain that any new trade deals are in the interests of American workers. President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA. If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.

While the above strategy provides for withdrawing from NAFTA only if Canada and Mexico refuse to renegotiate a new agreement that “gives American workers a fair deal,” the new administration has not yet provided details indicating what criteria would be used to make such a determination.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on January 31, to discuss NAFTA’s renegotiation, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during a January 21 briefing. Trump also plans to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but a date for that meeting has not been announced.

In an interview with CBS News anchor Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes last September 27, Trump stated that NAFTA is a “disaster.” He said that, as president, he would either break or renegotiate the agreement so he could enact tariffs that would dissuade manufacturers such as Ford from building cars elsewhere to be sold in the U.S. market.

While Trump’s statements about NAFTA have focused almost exclusively on the impact the trade deal has had on American jobs, as legitimate as those statements have been, they ignore an even greater threat to the United Stated posed by the agreement. The New American has published a number of articles since NAFTA superseded the 1988 Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) back in 1994. As we noted in 2013:

NAFTA, which came into force in 1994, was billed as a sort of expanded FTA, but in reality, it was nothing of the sort. Rather, NAFTA was North America’s first foray into transnational government camouflaged as a “free trade agreement,” of the sort that the Europeans had been building on the other side of the Atlantic since the 1950s.

By the 1990s, it was very clear to any careful observer what was afoot in Europe. All rhetoric aside, what had begun in 1951 as an international commission regulating the trade of coal and steel, and had soon morphed into the European Economic Community (informally termed the “Common Market”), was well on its way to becoming a bona fide continent-wide government.

Since that article was published, citizens in the United Kingdom voted in a national referendum last year to leave the European Union, in a move commonly referred to as “Brexit.”

The 2013 article in The New American continued:

NAFTA was sold to Congress and the American public as a “free trade agreement.” But instead of creating conditions for free trade (borders transparent to the flow of goods, services, and people), NAFTA set up a complex bureaucracy tasked with managing and controlling North American trade and with adjudicating trade disputes….

Moreover, NAFTA, by imposing such a managed trade regime across international boundaries, was not merely an “accord” but also a first layer of regional international government where none had existed before.

That article quoted an extremely significant statement concerning the goals of NAFTA’s architects from a 2004 article in Foreign Affairs entitled “North America’s Second Decade.” In that article, Robert Pastor, professor of International Relations at American University (and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations) admitted that NAFTA is “merely the first draft of an economic constitution for North America.”  

The plans that Pastor and his fellow internationalists from the CFR have for NAFTA, creating a North American Union, threaten much more than jobs. They are the foundation for a North American Union, an American version of the EU that the citizens of Britain finally voted to leave.

A 2014 Forbes article regarded the prosperity of the auto-making business in Mexico, which represented more bad news for Detroit, as the result of “wise trade policies south of the border,” concluding that, if those trade policies resulting from NAFTA work so well for Mexico, Washington should do more of the same in the United States.

Forbes praised the effects of NAFTA because it increased automobile production in Mexico. Trump has criticized NAFTA because it has shipped U.S. jobs from American automotive plants to Mexico. Trump’s position, solely from the standpoint of U.S. employment, seems obviously superior.

However, both Forbes and Trump have failed to mention the greater problem — which is, as noted at the time: “NAFTA has little to do with improving trade relations and everything to do with erasing national sovereignty in favor of an international political order run by unelected elites ... a stepping stone to the North American Union (NAU), which would then be a step closer to the de facto creation of the New World Order that NAFTA’s proponents have for years been working behind the scenes to achieve.”

Trump’s efforts to renegotiate NAFTA might stop the exporting of American jobs to Mexico and bring them back home, which are worthwhile goals. However, he cannot negotiate a different objective for NAFTA, which is to build a North American Union. For this reason, America would be better off if Trump’s first stated objective, “a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal,” fails. Trump would then have to resort to his alternative plan: “then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.”


Related articles:

North American Union: From NAFTA to the NAU

Mexico Is the New Detroit; Forbes Credits NAFTA

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