As Kamala Harris presents evidence that Brett Kavanaugh habitually exposed himself to several nurses upon being born and then to other females for months, nay, years afterwards, Donald Trump just secured a new trilateral trade deal between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This, friends, is yuge, yuge!
The deal replaces, or amends, the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement between the three countries. From the moment he announced his candidacy, way back in 2015, until the day before yesterday, President Trump has assailed the original Nafta as ‘the worst deal ever.’ The fact that US trade with Mexico has gone from a modest surplus in the early years of Nafta to a $68 billion deficit now highlights his concern.
The President came to terms with Mexico last month, but Canada was adamant about not making the concessions that Trump demanded. Last night, burning the midnight oil, US negotiators finally hammered out a deal with Canada to preserve the three-country agreement just moments before the midnight deadline. The deal, which President Trump wants to rename the US-Mexico-Canada — difficult to acronymise, but accurate in its dramatis personae — will go some distance in levelling the playing field for trade among the three countries. As before-the-bell market indices suggest, the citizens and economies of all three countries will benefit. Even Justin Trudeau, Canada’s fountain-of-youth Prime Minister, acknowledged that ‘It’s a good day for Canada’ as he left a Cabinet meeting last night.
A key player in the talks with Canada was the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. All the smart people in Washington and New York have assured me that Kushner is almost as big a moron as the President, so obviously it is just luck that he succeeded helping to bring about this important economic deal.
The deal, which will be signed in late November, greatly reduces impediments to US farmers and manufacturers, especially automakers, and modernises the agreement by providing rules for the world of digital exchange which was in its infancy when the original deal was struck.
A last-minute concession by Canada will open the country’s dairy markets to the US, while for its part the US dropped its demand that special NAFTA trade courts be abolished. There was, in other words, plenty of give-and-take. All parties got important concessions.
It is likely that Canada and Mexico will ink the deal this year. For the United States, it is likely to have to wait until the next Congress. Will it be a Democratic-controlled Congress? I doubt it. But in any event, I doubt that it matters. No matter what you hear, American workers have always been at the forefront of President Trump’s mind, and this deal will be good for them. The Dems want the unions behind them. The unions will like this deal. As Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, a ‘left-liberal progressive consumer advocacy group,’ noted ‘The new deal includes some important improvements which we have long advocated.’
When Donald Trump came to office, all the beautiful people with PhDs and long pedigrees on K-Street, in academia and the media told us that he was an ignoramus who didn’t know what he was doing, might get us all killed, and in any event would surely tank the economy. Above all, they said, his threats to scrap globalist trade arrangements, so carefully forged by and for the benefit of the Davoisie, would lead to chaos and recession, if not worse.
But here we are. The US stock market is north of 26,000, unemployment is at historic lows, consumer confidence historic highs. Economic growth is humming along at around 4 per cent, a number we were told was impossible back in December 2016. What Donald Trump has been scrapping are not the building blocks of free-market prosperity but the sclerotic impediments to prosperity inherited from an another era but superintended by the aging, unimaginative beneficiaries of that dispensation.
Donald Trump is indeed a disruptor. But what he disrupts is the outworn conventional wisdom that is more conventional than wise.