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President Trump Is Delivering On His Promise Of Better Trade Deals

- August 27, 2018

TODAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK A BIG STEP IN HIS PROMISE TO RENEGOTIATE NAFTA AND PURSUE FREER AND FAIRER TRADE DEALS

President Trump Kept His Promise To Work Towards Freer And Fairer Trade Deals Through The Announcement Of The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement

On The Campaign Trail, President Trump Called The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) "One Of The Great Economic Disasters." "'NAFTA has been one of the great economic disasters. Who signed it? Clinton. Clinton,' Trump said Saturday at a rally in Lynden, Wash. He was referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was actually signed by George H.W. Bush but was implemented through legislation signed by Bill Clinton. 'It has destroyed, I'll tell you what, it's destroyed our country as we know it,' Trump said." (Jose A. Delreal, "How Donald Trump Is Running To The Left Of Hillary Clinton," The Washington Post , 5/9/16)

Upon Entering Office, President Trump Stated His Trade Policy Was To Expand Trade In A Way That Was ­­Freer And Fairer For All Americans. "The overarching purpose of our trade policy - the guiding principle behind all of our actions in this key area - will be to expand trade in a way that is freer and fairer for all Americans." ("The President's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda," The United States Trade Representative , p. 1)

In May 2018, The Trump Administration Notified Congress It Intended To Begin Renegotiating NAFTA. "The Trump administration on Thursday notified Congress that it plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the three-member deal with Mexico and Canada that President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked." (Jacob Pramuk and Kayla Tausche, "Trump Administration Sends NAFTA Renegotiation Letter To Congress," CNBC , 5/18/17)

On August 27, 2018, President Trump Announced His Administration Reached A Deal With Mexico On Issues Holding Up The Renegotiations Of NAFTA. "On August 27, 2018, President Trump on Monday announced his administration had reached a deal with Mexico on issues that have held up renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement for over a year." (Josh Zumbrun And Santiago Perez, "U.S.-Mexico Deal Clears Pathway For NAFTA Rewrite," The Wall Street Journal , 8/27/18)

  • The Deal Overhauls Rules For Building Cars Across The Continent, Ensuring A Greater Portion Of Vehicles Are Built In North America And More Locally Produced Steel Is Used In Manufacturing. "The core of the deal with Mexico overhauls rules for building cars across the continent, aimed at ensuring a greater portion of the vehicles are built in the region, and more locally-produced steel is used." (Josh Zumbrun And Santiago Perez, "U.S.-Mexico Deal Clears Pathway For NAFTA Rewrite," The Wall Street Journal , 8/27/18)
  • The Deal Will Also Help American Workers Hurt By Cheaper Labor Across The Border By Incorporating Provisions Dedicated To Raising Wages For Mexican Workers And Offering Additional Rights To Mexican Labor Unions. "The accord also has new provisions aimed at raising wages and offering new rights to Mexican labor unions. Those measures target longstanding complaints by Nafta in the U.S. critics that American workers have been hurt by having to compete with cheaper labor across the border." (Josh Zumbrun And Santiago Perez, "U.S.-Mexico Deal Clears Pathway For NAFTA Rewrite," The Wall Street Journal , 8/27/18)

President Trump Said The Agreement Would Be Called The "United States-Mexico Trade Agreement." " They use to call it NAFTA," "Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office. 'We're going to call it the United States-Mexico trade agreement.'" ("Trump Announces Trade 'Understanding' With Mexico, Says It Won't Be Called 'NAFTA,'" CBS News , 8/27/18)

Following The Trade Deal Announcement, The Stock Market Soared And Politicians, Policy Experts And The Media Offered Resounding Praise

The New York Times : The Deal Between The U.S. And Mexico Is "A Crucial Step Towards Revamping" NAFTA. "The United States and Mexico have reached agreement to revise key portions of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, a crucial step toward revamping a trade pact that has appeared on the brink of collapse during the past year of negotiations." (Ana Swanson and Katie Rogers, "Preliminary NAFTA Deal Reached Between U.S. And Mexico," The New York Times , 8/27/18)

Forbes : The United States And Mexico Reached An Agreement On Monday, "In A Trade Victory For President Trump's Divide And Conquer Approach." "In a trade victory for President Trump's divide and conquer approach, the United States and Mexico reached agreement on a new trade pact on Monday, raising hopes that a three-party deal with Canada can be reached to redraw the North American Trade Agreement." (Charles Wallace, "Trump Secures A Trade Deal With Mexico, Forbes , 8/27/18)

Vox : The Trade Deal With Mexico Is "The Most Important Development So Far In The Year-Long Negotiations To Revise NAFTA." "It's certainly the most important development so far in the year-long negotiations to revise NAFTA, as it clears the way for Canada - the other NAFTA member - to rejoin talks after a five-week absence." (Alex Ward, "The US and Mexico Made A Trade Deal. But It's Not A New NAFTA," Vox , 8/27/18)

  • The Deal Could Potentially Increase The Number Of Jobs In American Car Plants. "The new agreement makes it so most parts of an automobile traded without tariffs - taxes imposed on a particular set of items - must be made in factories that pay their workers higher wages. That could potentially increase the number of jobs in American car plants, where workers are paid more than in Mexican factories." (Alex Ward, "The US and Mexico Made A Trade Deal. But It's Not A New NAFTA," Vox , 8/27/18)

Mexican President Peña Nieto Said He Thought The Deal Was "Very Positive For The United States And Mexico." "Peña Nieto agreed as he responded to the president on speaker phone. 'I think this is something very positive for the United States and Mexico,' Peña Nieto said, although the Mexican president mentioned several times that he wanted Canada to be involved." (David Lunch, Damian Paletta and Erica Werner, "Trump Announces Separate U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement Says Canada May Join Later," The Washington Post , 8/27/18)

Following News Of The Deal, The Dow Jones Rose 260 Points And The Nasdaq Composite Broke 8,000 For The First Time. "Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal. Investors also digested reassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the central bank's policy-tightening path. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points as Caterpillar outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to hit a record high with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors." (Fred Imbert and Michael Sheetz and Ryan Browne, "Dow Jumps More Than 250 Points, Nasdaq Hits 8,000 As U.S. And Mexico Strike Trade Deal," CNBC , 8/27/18)

A CNBC Panel Credited The Trade Deal With Helping Stocks Rally To Record Highs And Called The News Very Good For Future China Negotiations. CNBC'S SCOTT WAPNER: "Jim, Stocks picking up where they left off, Dow up 265 at the high, S&P record, another record in its own right. CNBC'S JIM LEBENTHAL: "You were out last week and we were speaking about this rush to the record. The one thing I pointed out is you cannot fight this market. Despite all of the risks that are out there and granted they are mitigated today, it wants to go higher, it sees it growing, it sees no threat to it. Now, I look at today's news, it is very good for certain sectors of the economy but those sectors, Scott, still have some risks in front of them but the market predicts it will be resolved as well." WAPNER: "Yea, Steve, You can see clearly the enthusiasm of any significant deal on the trade front and what it translates into for the market and not just in the sectors of what Jim was speaking about, the ones that are maybe directly involved in trade. But really across the gamut if you look at the reasons the market hit another record high today its many different areas." STEVE WEISS: "This one is advertised and I think what it does, if people are extrapolating including me by the way, that this is very good for the china negotiations which are at an impasse right now. It has to embolden both the administration and the electorate and if you don't get on board you're going to miss out." (CNBC's "The Halftime Report," 8/27/18)

Click To Watch

CNN's Cristia Alesci Said The Administration Could Tout The Agreement With Mexico As A "Win." CNN's DANA BASH: "Christina, let me start with you. Let's get a little bit of context, a lot of context when it comes to what the President did, what he can do without Congress, first of all, and where Canada is in all this because NAFTA, of course, is in agreement with Mexico and Canada." CNN's CRISTINA ALESCI: "That's right, those are the two major questions, what will Congress do and will Canada also sign on, which is also very important. Look, this news conference or this conference, whatever it was, it was a lot of congratulations, and light on details so far. The Administration needed a win on a trade deal. Essentially, this Administration and Trump promised American workers that they would get better trade deals and so far the only thing the Administration has done is impose tariffs, and that's done two things. One, created a lot of uncertainty for a lot of American businesses and workers and in the worst-case scenario some layoffs. Two, American farmers have been dealing with retaliatory tariffs. So, on those two fronts the tariffs are really tough so the administration needed a win and this they can tout as a win." (CNN's "Inside Politics," 8/27/18)

Achieving This Agreement With Mexico Was Something Democrats And Their Friends In The Media Once Doubted President Trump Could Accomplish

The Washington Post : "Democrats Predict A Trump Sellout On NAFTA" (Dave Weigel, "Democrats Predict A Trump Sellout On NAFTA, The Washington Post , 5/18/17)

The Washington Post : "Trump Is All Bluster On Trade…" (Erik Loomis And Shaun Richman, "Trump Is All Bluster On Trade, But Democrats Haven't Shown Voters They Can Do Better," The Washington Post , 3/9/18)

The New Yorker: "What Is Donald Trump's Trade Policy? Nobody Knows" (John Cassidy, "What Is Donald Trump's Trade Policy? Nobody Knows," The New Yorker , 5/1/18)

In 2017, The New York Times' Paul Krugman Said President Trump's Trade Policy Was "Nowhere To Be Seen In Practice." "So far, however, nothing has happened. Not only is Trumpist trade policy - Trumptrade? - nowhere to be seen in practice; there isn't even any indication of what it will involve." (Paul Krugman, Op-Ed, "Trump Is Wimping Out On Trade," The New York Times , 4/3/17)

  • Krugman: "Is Trump Following Some Kind Of Clever Political Strategy On Trade? I Don't Think So." "Is Trump following some kind of clever political strategy on trade? I don't think so. I think he's genuinely ignorant, and gets more belligerent the worse things look." (Paul Krugman, Twitter Feed , 8/4/18)

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Said "President Trump Has Talked A Good Game, But Done Virtually Nothing On Trade But Study It." "Sen. Schumer: "The problem is President Trump has talked a good game, but done virtually nothing on trade but study it." (Binyamin Applebaum, Twitter Feed , August 2, 2017)

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Said "For All His Rhetoric, President Trump Looks To Be Sorely Disappointing American Workers On NAFTA & Trade." "For all his rhetoric, President Trump looks to be sorely disappointing American workers on NAFTA & trade." (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Twitter Feed , May 18, 2017)

Asked What The Chances Were Of The White House Renegotiating NAFTA, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Expressed Doubt Saying "I'll Be Dammed If I Know." "The talks are not scheduled to resume until next year, but Brown told one caller that disarray within the White House West Wing could add to the delay. 'Given the chaos within the White House, what are the chances of NAFTA being renegotiated?' one Ohioan asked Brown in an e-mailed question relayed by CWA Legislative Director Shane Larson. 'I wish you hadn't asked me that,' Brown joked, before adding seriously, 'I'll be damned if I know.'" (Mark Gruenberg, "Sen Sherrod Brown: White House "Chaos" May Sink New NAFTA," People's World , 11/15/17)

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Said The Trump Administration Did Not Have A Clear Framework To Renegotiate NAFTA And The President's Trade Policy Raised More Questions Than Answers. "As someone who voted against NAFTA, I believe the agreement must be improved so that New Jersey's working families receive more benefits from trade. The Administration's notice to renegotiate has provided no clear policy goals and raises more questions than answers for American workers." (Press Release, "Menendez Statement On Administration's NAFTA Renegotiation Notice," Sen. Bob Menendez , 5/17/17)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI): "Simply Saying You're Going To Renegotiate NAFTA Doesn't Get Us Where We Need To Go." "'Simply saying you're going to renegotiate NAFTA doesn't get us where we need to go,' said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), who represents the city of Flint." (Dave Weigel, "Democrats Predict A Trump Sellout On NAFTA, The Washington Post , 5/18/17)

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA): "Trump's Objective Is To Change As Little As Possible While Saying He Changed As Much As Possible." "'Trump's objective is to change as little as possible while saying he changed as much as possible,' snarked Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). 'He will seek something visual that he can go visit.'" (Dave Weigel, "Democrats Predict A Trump Sellout On NAFTA, The Washington Post , 5/18/17)

Rep. Marc Pocan (D-WI): "So Far All We've Seen Are Tepid Talking Points." "'So far all we've seen are tepid talking points,' said Rep. Marc Pocan (D-Wis.)." (Dave Weigel, "Democrats Predict A Trump Sellout On NAFTA, The Washington Post , 5/18/17

The New York Times : "Chance of NAFTA Deal in 2018 Diminishes As Talks Drag Past Congressional Deadline " (Ana Swanson And Elisabeth Malkin, "Chance Of NAFTA Deal In 2018 Diminishes As Talks Drag Past Congressional Deadline, The New York Times , 5/17/18)

  • "Chance Of NAFTA's Quick Resolution Is Diminishing." "But with significant disagreements remaining among the three countries as well as disparate views among the lawmakers who must approve the deal, the chance of Nafta's quick resolution is diminishing." (Ana Swanson And Elisabeth Malkin, "Chance Of NAFTA Deal In 2018 Diminishes As Talks Drag Past Congressional Deadline, The New York Times , 5/17/18)

Los Angeles Times : "Chances For A Revamped NAFTA Pact By This Year Are Slipping Away" (Don Lee, "Chances For A Revamped NAFTA Pact This Year Are Slipping Away," Los Angeles Times , 5/17/18)

  • "Hopes Are Fading Fast That A Revamped North American Free Trade Agreement Will Be Completed And Approved By Lawmakers This Year." "Despite a flurry of negotiations in recent weeks, hopes are fading fast that a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement will be completed and approved by lawmakers this year." (Don Lee, "Chances For A Revamped NAFTA Pact This Year Are Slipping Away," Los Angeles Times , 5/17/18)

Despite Their Nay-Saying And Doubt, Democrats Have Pushed To Renegotiate NAFTA For Years

In February 2018, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeff Merkley, Mazio Hirono, And Edward Markey Sent A Letter Demanding The Trump Administration Renegotiate NAFTA. "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and several progressive senators are laying out their demands for changing the North American Free Trade Agreement, hoping the Trump administration will side with them as it renegotiates the pact.The demands - detailed Friday in a letter to the White House from Sanders, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and others - in some cases match changes President Trump's team is pushing in talks with Mexico and Canada. Trump and the progressives, however, split sharply on labor standards, environmental protections and other key aspects of the trade pact, making it unlikely that progressive Democrats would endorse the administration's approach. 'We urge you to renegotiate NAFTA to deliver a deal that we can support,' says the letter, which was backed by labor groups like the AFL-CIO and environmental groups like the Sierra Club, as well as Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)." (Jeff Stein, "Sanders And Trump Agree NAFTA Has To Change. They Split On How To Fix It," The Washington Post , 2/2/18)

In January 2018, 180 Democrats Urged The Trump Administration To Take A Tough Stand In Its NAFTA Renegotiation Efforts With Mexico. "Almost 200 members of Congress slammed Mexico for its record on labor rights and urged the Trump administration to take a tough stand on the issue in the current talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The overwhelmingly Democratic group of 180 lawmakers said Mexico's labor policies are partly to blame for the outsourcing of U.S. jobs below the border." (Sean Higgins, "Democrats Slam Mexico On Labor Rights, Urge Tough NAFTA Stance," Washington Examiner , 1/24/18)

Vox In 2017: "The Democrats' New Trade Platform Sure Does Sound A Lot Like Trump" (Zeeshan Aleem, "The Democrats' New Trade Platform Sure Does Sound A Lot Like Trump," Vox , 8/3/17)

  • "Congressional Democrats Are In The Peculiar Position Of Sharing Much In Common On Trade With A Republican President ." "Now congressional Democrats are in the peculiar position of sharing much in common on trade with a Republican president. GOP presidents have been pretty zealous free traders for decades, and Trump offers a rare departure from that trend. That means Democrats lawmakers could try to exploit the opportunity and work with him on legislation built on the principles in this platform." (Zeeshan Aleem, "The Democrats' New Trade Platform Sure Does Sound A Lot Like Trump," Vox , 8/3/17)]

In 2010, Democratic Lawmaker Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) Led Efforts To Repeal NAFTA. "A Democratic congressman from Mississippi introduced bipartisan legislation Thursday that would provide for the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Rep. Gene Taylor, who also serves on the House Armed Services Committee, called the 29 percent loss of jobs in US manufacturing since 1993 a matter of national defense and pointed to a number of companies who have moved their production to Mexico as cause for concern." ("Democratic Lawmaker Leads Bipartisan Effort To Repeal NAFTA," Fox News , 3/4/10)

In 2008, President Obama Called NAFTA "Devastating" And A "Big Mistake." "'Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,' he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA 'devastating' and 'a big mistake,' despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy." (Nina Easton, "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All," CNN , 6/18/08)

As Far Back As 1993, Sen. Sanders Opposed NAFTA, Titling An Op-Ed In An October Edition Of The Vermont Times "Why I Oppose NAFTA." (Bernie Sanders, Op-Ed, "Why I Oppose NAFTA," Vermont Times , 10/28/93)


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