By on August 27, 2018

Trump

President Donald Trump announced a trade “understanding” with Mexico on Monday — not to be confused with an official deal — that would lead to an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump made the announcement from the Oval Office, with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto listening in by speakerphone.

While it’s still too early to show up in a Lockheed S-3 Viking and tell the world “mission accomplished,” the announcement is the most overt example of progress on NAFTA we’ve seen. Interesting, considering it seemed as if Trump was openly calling for its death during the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Mexican officials said trade talks with the U.S. had concluded, adding that an announcement could come later in the day. The White House confirmed the reports an hour later on its government website, with Donald Trump stating there was a “big deal looking good with Mexico” via twitter

Negotiators from the United States and Mexico have worked for weeks to resolve differences on numerous contentious issues while Canada waits in the wings. Among the biggest issues for Mexico are the rules of origin, which dictate that a certain percentage of every automobile must be built from parts that originated from countries within the NAFTA region to avoid tariffs. The U.S. wants to get that percentage up, while Mexico has taken a hard stance against it. The Trump administration also pushed for the inclusion of a sunset provision, under which the revised NAFTA agreement would expire after five years unless all three countries take steps to extend it. Both Canada and Mexico turned their nose up at the idea.

It’s assumed those issues and a handful of others served as sticking points that frequently stalled meaningful discussion on other aspects of trade. However, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal said Monday that the nations have “continued making progress,” and would eventually reach some kind of agreement. He expects Canada to return to the table soon.

“Once the bilateral issues get resolved, Canada will be joining the talks to work on both bilateral issues and our trilateral issues,” Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said Friday. “And will be happy to do that, once the bilateral US-Mexico issues have been resolved.”

“Big day for trade. Big day for our country,” Trump said in the opening moments of the hastily assembled announcement before handing the floor over to the Mexican president.

“[We would like to] celebrate the understand we’ve had between both negotiating teams on NAFTA,” said Peña Nieto over the phone before announcing his pleasure that Canada could now rejoin the debate.

Trump seemed less interested in a multilateral deal that included Canada, saying he would contact Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shortly, but noted that he would be happy to establish a separate deal and abandon the NAFTA name, due to negative connotations — calling the current understanding the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”

Specifics on the deal are practically nonexistent, however. Likely referring to the automotive industry, the president said it would be especially great for the manufacturing sector, but gave no details. Future (more formal) announcements are planned. But the president’s statement from the Oval Office seemed targeted at letting American’s know a deal had been reached with Mexico, signatures were forthcoming, and that the trade ball was now in Canada’s court.

Update: Later in the day, details emerged about some of the agreed-upon issues. The new arrangement stipulates that U.S. and Mexico-based, car companies would be required to manufacturer at least 75 percent of an automobile’s total value within North America. The existing rules require 62.5 percent. It was also said that a certain proportion of the vehicles will have to be built by workers earning at least $16 an hour in both countries. Mexican-based companies that don’t adhere to the new regulations would be subjected to a 2.5 percent tariff when exporting to the U.S. 

Trump also said he would consider upping tariffs on Canadian automobiles in response to its high dairy taxes, saying it would be the easiest way to hammer out a deal. But he was more than willing to have talks that would result in a mutually beneficial agreement. “We are looking at helping our neighbors too,” he said. “If we can help our neighbors that’s a good thing, not a a bad thing.”

[Image: NAFTA Secretariat]

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67 Comments on “NAFTA No More: U.S. Reaches Deal With Mexico, Puts Pressure on Canada [Updated]...”


  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “While it’s still too early to show up in a Lockheed S-3 Viking and tell the world “mission accomplished,” ”

    Okay, pet peeve time.

    President Bush appeared before a banner that said that, because THAT aircraft carrier was coming home from a successful deployment.

    He never said or suggested the war in Iraq was over, then.

    That people gleefully presented it from that moment until this very day, as if he had made the claim, mostly confirms my low opinion of reporting and political culture in general.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Disagree. The banner was backed up by Bush’s speech, which said that “major combat operations were over.” Then there was whole “landing on the carrier like he was Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun,\'” which justly invited scorn.

      All of that’s on Bush. Ultimately, the press reports on what it sees and hears, and it saw and heard from Bush’s own mouth that we were in mop-up mode, which he believed. Unfortunately, that couldn’t have been further from the case. I believe he has since said that he regretted the whole “Mission Accomplished” thing, which is to his credit, if you ask me. Having a president who can admit he messed up has value.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      Sigivald – my feelings also. For those not familiar with military jargon, “Mission Accomplished” does not mean “War Won” by any stretch. Me going down “in the hole” to watch a reactor plant percolate water in big kettles was “mission accomplished” at the end of my 4- to 6-hour watch two to three times in a 24-hour period. That was my periodic mission. The ship returning after a 7 to 9 month deployment in the Western Pacific was “mission accomplished” each time we returned to home port. This was the ship’s periodic mission every 18 to 24 months.

    • 0 avatar
      tod stiles

      Ah no. The White House admitted that they produced the banner. They said that they had done banners like that many times and would position Bush under them. There was no facility on board to produce such a banner.And of course Bush could have gotten there on a helo but you know.

      Anyway wonder if this “understanding” works as well as the one with North Korea. That was genius.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      Baloney. Google “mission accomplished speech transcript” and read it yourself. There’s no question what he was referring to. I realize that in some quarters the big bad press is the preferred bogeyman du jour, but this is not a case of press taking liberties.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        SIG

        Agreed.

        Others. Can we try to be fair? Please?

        Major Combat Operations WERE over. Or at a minimum, most fair minded folks would have assumed this was true with what they knew at the time. If not true, it was an honest mess up. We dont need to pillory the man for an honest mess up IF IT WAS ONE.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      You got the plane correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        What many of us who live outside of the USA cannot fathom is how Americans can get it so wrong, so often in the Presidential elections.

        1) Lying Bill Clinton instead of war hero Bob Dole?
        2) George W an admitted drug user and war shirker, instead of someone who went to Nam and did his duty, in John Kerry?
        3) Obama with little political experience, instead of war hero, long time politician and a member of a great American family, John McCain?

        And that is just since 1996.

    • 0 avatar
      kamiller42

      Sigivald is right. And the insertion of the phrase into the article was completely unnecessary and a distraction.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      The author is just a leftie taking a cheap shot at a Republican. No big deal. Not intended to be factual, just a bit of snark, like the “see Russia from Alaska” Palin myth.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    For the sake of America and its economy, let’s please hope that this does not materialize.

  • avatar
    Feds

    I listened to the press conference. I didn’t hear any details of the deal at all.

    Mr. Trump didn’t seem to understand how the deal made would progress into something binding.

    Mr. Peña Nieto seemed to only discuss how much he was looking forward to getting Canada back to the table.

    Parsing the language, I’m guessing the US and Mexico have resolved their differences and will return to 3-party negotiations.

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      NYT says the main thing for cars was that the amount of US content “by value” required to qualify for 0% tariffs went up to 75% from 62.5%.

      Which is a pretty small difference, and Canada still isn’t really interesting in re-negotiating at all.

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        Mexican auto worker makes $6 and hour now up to $16. And the biggie origin of parts. Not Chinese parts routed through Mexico and Canada to circumvent US tariffs.

        • 0 avatar
          Feds

          Sounds like a win for Mexico. Increased wealth for Mexican workers on the backs of American consumers. Maybe Trump will negotiate a wage increase for Unifor workers too.

          • 0 avatar
            dont.fit.in.cars

            Nope. Rise wages Mexico wins. America wins allowing parts sub contractors to compete. Big slap on the Red Dragon

    • 0 avatar
      Erikstrawn

      In my head I picture Ralph Wiggam tying his shoelace and claiming, “I won!”

      No autoworker wages below $16/hr? Wow, that’s as non-Free-Market-Republican as I can imagine, and I applaud it.

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      many of the key ‘details’ were mentioned in a live report on cnbc, only 10 – 15 minutes before trump began displaying his masterful ineptitude with his own telephone technology.

      spoiler alert: trump got next-to-nothing of what he initially asked for.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    The triumvirate of the short-sighted, cheap labor above all so-called republicans (Koch et al), the out right evil socialists and the power above all leftists, will stop at nothing to divide up, loot and tear this country apart. Maybe this re-worked deal can slow the decline by a couple years. Given all the illegal, deep state and other activity against him, its amazing Trump was able to accomplish this much.

    • 0 avatar
      Feds

      Genuinely curious: What illegal activity has taken place against Mr. Trump?

      • 0 avatar
        Robbie

        Feds… Please don’t feed the troll

        • 0 avatar
          Feds

          That’s not fair. Maybe cicero1 has some evidence of a crime committed against the President. If that’s the case, he should let us know so we can contact the proper authorities.

          • 0 avatar
            cicero1

            here is a good summary:
            thefederalist.com/2018/08/27/here-are-the-questions-bruce-ohr-needs-to-answer-before-congress/

            the illegal leaks by comey; the lies to get and keep the FISA warrants; the fact that the DNC paid for the made up dossier (fact not disclosed to FISA judge); how the biased fbi officials were able to dictate the investigation.

            there is a history illegal acts by the gov against republicans – google John Doe Scott Walker investigation and Ted Stevens false evidence – where courts held the government acted illegally and withheld exculpatory evidence.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Interesting choice of screen name:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero

            He was opposed to both Caesar and Mark Anthony.

          • 0 avatar
            Feds

            These acts are public knowledge. Can you explain why no law enforcement body, nor any oversight committee has charged anyone involved?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Is it possible that the previous administration “targeted” the Trump campaign because there was good reason to believe it was dirty?

            Given that two central figures in it have now gone down – and I have no doubt that more will follow – I’d say there was.

            I sure wish people would hold Trump as accountable for his own proven s**t as they do for Obama’s alleged s**t.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            @FreedMike,

            Are you sincerely arguing that the criminality of the Obama regime was justified in this case because they were breaking the law in order to thwart someone who they thought was a criminal? Or are you just saying that you want people who think clearly to steer clear of you so you don’t have your silly beliefs rubbed in your face again?

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            speaking of ‘contacting the proper authorities,’ when one considers all of the trump-orbit republicans preparing to head off to jail, one can only wonder: who is gonna be left to lock up hillary?

            [comment credit: bill maher]

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Here is my Comey dossier

        1. Before he bombed the Boston Marathon, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev but let him go. Russia sent the Obama Administration a second warning, but the FBI opted against investigating him again.

        2. Shortly after the NSA scandal exploded in 2013, the FBI was exposed conducting its own data mining on innocent Americans; the agency, Bloomberg reported, retains that material for decades (even if no wrongdoing is found).

        3. The FBI had possession of emails sent by Nidal Hasan saying he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers to protect the Taliban — but didn’t intervene, leading many critics to argue the tragedy that resulted in the death of 31 Americans at Fort Hood could have been prevented.

        4. During the Obama Administration, the FBI claimed that two private jets were being used primarily for counterterrorism, when in fact they were mostly being used for Eric Holder and Robert Mueller’s business and personal travel.

        5. When the FBI demanded Apple create a “backdoor” that would allow law enforcement agencies to unlock the cell phones of various suspects, the company refused, sparking a battle between the feds and America’s biggest tech company. What makes this incident indicative of Comey’s questionable management of the agency is that a) The FBI jumped the gun, as they were indeed ultimately able to crack the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone, and b) Almost every other major national security figure sided with Apple (from former CIA Director General Petraeus to former CIA Director James Woolsey to former director of the NSA, General Michael Hayden), warning that such a “crack” would inevitably wind up in the wrong hands.

        6. In 2015, the FBI conducted a controversial raid on a Texas political meeting, finger printing, photographing, and seizing phones from attendees (some in the group believe in restoring Texas as an independent constitutional republic).

        7. During its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, the FBI made an unusual deal in which Clinton aides were both given immunity and allowed to destroy their laptops.

        8. The father of the radical Islamist who detonated a backpack bomb in New York City in 2016 alerted the FBI to his son’s radicalization. The FBI, however, cleared Ahmad Khan Rahami after a brief interview.

        9. The FBI also investigated the terrorist who killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Despite a more than 10-month investigation of Omar Mateen — during which Mateen admitting lying to agents — the FBI opted against pressing further and closed its case.

        10. CBS reported that when two terrorists sought to kill Americans attending the “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas, the FBI not only had an understanding an attack was coming, but actually had an undercover agent traveling with the Islamists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi. The FBI has refused to comment on why the agent on the scene did not intervene during the attack.

        • 0 avatar
          cicero1

          principal Dan:
          Thats why I picked that name. Read “The Storm before the Storm” by Mike Duncan – history repeats itself:

          “Reflecting on the recurrent civil wars of the Late Republic, Sallust said, “It is this spirit which has commonly ruined great nations, when one party desires to triumph over another by any and every means and to avenge itself on the vanquished with excessive cruelty.”

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Cicero, Yet the author would appear to oppose how the current POTUS behaves. From an interview with the Mike Duncan:
            Question: One of the big themes in your book in the lead up the events that would end the Roman Republican is the collapse of the mos maiorum. The old traditions fell apart, old courtesies, old norms, even old moral standards were no longer followed. Why is that so important? Does it matter just politically or also in individual life? Do similar collapses stand out to you today?

            Answer: Yes the Romans were guided by unspoken traditions and norms because they did not have a written constitution or extensive body of written law—certainly nothing like the array of laws we have today. But what the Romans of the late Republic discovered was there was no real binding force holding an ambitious leader in check aside from mere social custom and a willingness to submit to “rules of fair play.” Once the unspoken rules of mos maiorum started to fall away, and men profited from ignoring the old rules, it was just a matter of time before politics devolved into a violent struggle for power.

            All of this is important today because even though we have a constitution, it is not some giant document that outlines every contingency and point of order. No one wants to live in a hyper-totalitarian dystopia where every minute detail of life is codified and whatever is not forbidden is compulsory. That is not how humans are meant to live. So at a certain point you do have to say “I’m not going to cheat or steal or tell bald faced lies” because otherwise THAT will create it’s own dystopian nightmare where goodwill and trust have vanished. People need to choose to behave well. We can’t justify bad behavior by saying “well technically it’s not against the law.” Because you can never make laws to cover everything. There has to be a middle ground between a rigidly controlled dystopia and the brutal law of the jungle. And that is where unspoken rules of behavior get you if you respect them

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            Thank you cicero1 and slavuta. The frenzied pursuit of Trump reminds me of the following

            Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.””

            – Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police

            Our bozos aren’t as successful as Beria, but it is not for want of trying.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Cicero

            Is that not a sword that cuts both ways, My Friend?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            @Arthur Dailey,
            You seem to have Trump confused with Clinton, who argued the definition of is and whose adoring charlatans claimed he was too sexy for his rapes to be non-consensual.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          First off, you might want to attribute your post to another writer, slavuta, since those weren’t your words.

          http://www.norcalblogs.com/postscripts/2017/05/09/comeys-10-scandals-humiliations-watch/

          Second, the FBI has screwed up plenty in the past. They’ve also succeeded plenty, and the successes rarely get any press.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @toddatlasF1: What elected position does Clinton hold? And when he did, was he not impeached by the House? So the system did work, in that instance.

            What we were discussing is the current situation. Where the lies are fast and frenzied, even in regards to inconsequential matters, and the number of hush money payouts seems to be increasing on a regular basis.

            As for the trade negotiations, anything that reduces Chinese content or dependence on Chinese goods/trade, is something that I would personally support.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @chuckr: when the ‘accused’ holds the highest elected office in the nation, then he holds the ‘bully pulpit’ and therefore by definition is not in danger of being oppressed by the ‘state’.

            Even the ‘Business Plot’ against FDR was little danger to his Presidency.

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          We should all believe Slav. His comments are as if they came from Sean Hanity himself. Do you repeat this crap back to the tv each night when hanity comes on Fox News?

          Use one of your Russian golden showers to clean the all the crap you typed of your keyboard

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Trumpi should not have titled his book the Art of the Deal, but rather “Winning for Dummies.” There’d be a layer of meaning for everyone in there.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    This is what happens when a president is willing to push the envelope. The community organizer saw the decline of this great country, and all he could or was willing to do was spend our taxes to prop up rotten banks or do cash for clunkers or give money to electric partnerships that were doomed.

    Here is a president that is working hard to get America to an even playing field. While the economy is doing great because of deregulations and new tax policies with 4+% economic growth, while stock market is on fire and America is the top economic engine of the world, he is still pushing the envelope with Mexico and other countries.

    I say job well done and keep pushing it Mr president for a better north America deal that helps America as well as Mexico and Canada. China better be listening.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    ” looking at helping our neighbors too ” Hilarious, just hilarious.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Republican establishment, take heed: This is how you lock up the blue collar vote.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Republican establishment, take heed: This is how you lock up the blue collar vote.”

      pretend you care about them so they’ll vote for you again?

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        dems chucked blacks under the bus, embraced immigrants to include mulslims, courts LGBT and boxes out middle America.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Dems have been oppressing blacks since the party’s formation and continuing to this day.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Dems want to keep blacks in their ghettos, keep giving them small piece of sausage, instead of jobs. So they can keep voting for sausage masters.
            Can you imagine if these people would leave ghetto, get a job and become average americans? – they would not vote dem again. I am thinking, how can I vote for a party that exercises such plan?

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    No, there’s no deal. The US and MX have an agreement, but to make a deal they now need to get Canada on board.

    If there’s any justice at all in this world, Canada will string he proceedings along until after the mid terms, the way Iran waited for uncle Ronnie to be crowned before releasing their hostages.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      NAFTA is DEAD, done, over, finish, forever. Canadians are delusional in thinking tri lateral is a play.

      Canada listened to Obama on how to handle Trump and failed. They have one chance to recover; fail and the frogs are done. Mexicans wised up now Trudeau needs to take notes, look at his GDP and make his play for his people. Note zero percent of zero is a back seat to southern neighbors.

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        Here’s the breakdown

        https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/08/27/justin-from-canada-painted-his-country-into-a-lose-lose-trade-corner-more-details-of-u-s-mexico-deal/

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        A brief history lesson would be quite useful here. Canada existed for nearly 100 years with a very large tariff wall between itself and the USA, called The National Policy.

        The original Canada-US Free Trade Agreement was the result of the close personal and political friendship between Mulroney and Reagan, at Reagan’s urging. Mexico was brought into the agreement a few years later. A great many Canadians were against the Free Trade Agreement and many of their fears were realized. A great many long standing, large and iconic Canadian companies were sold to multi-nationals: Stelco, Dofasco, Algoma, Inco, Falconbridge, Alcan, The Bay, Labatts, Molsons and Tim Hortons being just a few examples.

        With NAFTA the economies of Canada and the USA have become largely intertwined.

        The USA could as the POTUS stated ‘slap a tariff’ on Canadian cars, however FCA would then be doomed as the price of the 300, Charger, Challenger, Caravan and Pacifica would have to be increased to offset the tariff, and production could not just be moved elsewhere.

        As for negotiations, many Canadians have been hoping to see NAFTA renegotiated for many years, because they believe it ‘favours’ the USA. Just some examples, it guarantees the USA access to Canadian fresh water and petroleum resources.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      The trade treaty is not preliminary but a detailed trade agreement. Due to our fast track trade laws, Executive informs Congress for 90 day review. It’s preliminary during the review.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Trade with Canada accounts for 2% of US economy, trade with US accounts for 20% of Canada’s economy.

      Now tell me who needs who? Canada should have been at the table all along, now Justin’s screwed his entire country over. I feel bad for Canadians but they voted for the idiot.

      US and Mexico made a deal, Mexico realized the first one at the table would get the best deal. Neither Mexico or US needs Canada.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    On the surface, the new bilateral deals look like a strong slap against China, especially the unlawful routing of components from China, through Mexico.

    More importantly, this is part of a bigger strategy to start undermining China and strengthen the economies of our southern neighbors. It is much better for America’s immigration policy to try and push lower labor cost manufacturing here in the Americas (think Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras).

    The low cost labor manufacturing is going to somewhere, and frankly, I’d rather it stayed in the Americas to help strengthen our neighbors than to support China’s rise.

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