NAFTA-Was Political and Relationship Damage Caused by Trump Worth It?

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  1. My Esoteric profile image87
    My Esotericposted 5 years ago

    Trump announced that Canada, Mexico, and America has agreed to a new trade agreement (still needs to be ratified) called United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that is intended to be a major overhaul of the "worst trade agreement in American history" - NAFTA.

    Trump's diplomacy to reach this point was brutal, to say the least.  We use to have very strong allies on our borders, Mexico and Canada. No Longer.  In order to fulfill, a misguided (my opinion) campaign promise to get rid of NAFTA.  Our allies will never trust America again like they use to.  That was the price.  What was the prize?

    1. A meaningless 16 year expiration date

    2. A small change in dairy trade terms with Canada that Canada had already agreed to with TPP, which Trump pulled out of.

    3. A requirement that, by some date in the future, 40% of auto parts made in North America are produced in factories that have a minimum wage of $16/hr. (The intended impact of this is to drive jobs from Mexico to America. The other consequence of this is higher car prices)

    4. A requirement that for a car made in North America to avoid tariffs the percentage of parts made in North America will increase, over time, from the current 62.5% of a cars content to 75%, (This is also intended to increase auto part production in North America and will also increase the cost of automobiles.)

    As more details come out, other significant provisions may appear but I think those are it.

    1. profile image0
      Ed Fisherposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      And yet of ALL people ,Gov. Cuomo praised Trump's new deal , Why ?   Because nowhere is our Canadian trade imbalance so blatantly obvious than in the northern border regions of the USA , NY.* , farmers , crop growers in many states alone will benefit from this say nothing about Mfg.s  , mid- term votes alone should reveal this message from states along our borders.

      1. My Esoteric profile image87
        My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I couldn't find a reference to Cuomo where he praised Trump's new deal.  But, I wouldn't be surprised.  Democrats wrongly have never liked NAFTA while Republicans did - until Trump, that is.  Trump and the Ds are very wrong that NAFTA was bad for America.  Here is where I agree with Republicans, even those further to the right, that NAFTA was great for America, Canada, and Mexico.

        But that isn't the question.  The question is - were the small gains in NAFTA worth the higher car prices and destruction of relations with our allies?

    2. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      "Brutal diplomacy".  An interesting term considering that Obama, Hillary and others have said that NAFTA needed re-negotiation...while never doing it.

      Now Trump has accomplished the task and is vilified for doing it.  Maybe we need "brutal diplomacy" if that's what it takes to level the playing field.  Certainly the policy of appeasement and putting the US at the bottom of the barrel wasn't working.

      1. My Esoteric profile image87
        My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Obama, like most Democrats, wrongly opposed NAFTA because they believe it hurt American workers.  And he did want to renegotiate it.  BUT, he opposed the unilateral withdrawal like Trump did.  The fact is, economically and jobs, NAFTA was a boon to America.

        It is never good to turn allies into enemies like Trump has. Do you think that is good diplomacy.

        But my main point and question is - was the small gain Trump achieved worth the damage he caused with our relationship with our two closest former allies?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          "The fact is, economically and jobs, NAFTA was a boon to America."

          Don't be silly - NAFTA provided an excellent method of removing jobs from the US and increasing our trade deficit...and that's exactly what happened. 

          I don't know what gain he achieved...and neither do you.  Give it a few years and we may know something, though. 

          Not sure that the "damage" was actually damage at all.  Perhaps it was a wake up call to them that we are not patsies to funnel money into their countries from.  I AM seeing more of that as time goes on - other countries beginning to understand that the free ride on American coattails is coming to an end.  That will inevitably result in a better relationship; good relationships are never based on monetary donations.

          1. My Esoteric profile image87
            My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            You are factually wrong about NAFTA, Wilderness.

            Bottom line is America did great and Mexico got screwed.

            I understand that far-right conservatives like you believe there is no need for allies in this world; that America can go it alone; that everybody is an enemy to be defeated (normal conservatives do not believe this), but a safe world, a good world, does not work that way. 

            The result of your believe system is chaos and war.

            The world you want existed prior to the end of WW II.

    3. JAKE Earthshine profile image68
      JAKE Earthshineposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      This is just another fake phony Trump deal that will destroy jobs and consumer goods just like his fake phony national embarrassment of a meeting in N Korea where Kim Jung Un talked Bozo Trump into stopping our military exercises in the region in exchange for absolutely NOTHING and believe it of not, another meeting between the two might happen again soon: UNREAL:

      This fake NAFTA deal is nothing more than another sham which will only cost Americans even MORE for consumer goods if it ever passed congress which it won't:

      Minor unenforceable changes in the guise of a real negotiation which will kill America plain and simple, just like Bozo Trump's astronomically high gas prices, record breaking DJIA stock market point crash, and destruction of our healthcare:

      1. My Esoteric profile image87
        My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Personally, I think a couple of the provisions might actually improve jobs in America, but the cost is higher car prices and worse relationships with our former allies.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          If we wish jobs for our people then prices will inevitably rise.  Lack of jobs, producing higher welfare rolls and lower standards of living, was the inevitable result of farming out jobs to other nations; if that is not our desire then we WILL pay somewhat higher prices for the products we want.

          It's actually pretty simple in that regard - we have a choice between jobs and low prices.  If we would rather pay other countries for cheap prices then we will find our neighbors (and ourselves) out of work.

          1. My Esoteric profile image87
            My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            What so-called "lack of jobs" Wilderness?? Unemployment is 3.7%.  Are you saying because of NAFTA, American welfare rolls increased? (They didn't) and that America's standard of living has decreased?? (It hasn't).

            Since we don't need jobs, I will take the low prices.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Please show that as jobs moved to Mexico they also remained in the US.  OR that as people lost their jobs to Mexico none went on welfare of any kind.

              Please show that as jobs moved to Mexico (lost to US citizens) and that none that lost their job lost any standard of living.

              Pretending that jobs did not go to Mexico does not mean they did not.  Pretending that those losing jobs promptly got other employment at the same or higher wages does not mean that they did. 

              And pretending that we didn't have very high unemployment just a few years ago, before the tariff war and before the discussions on NAFTA doesn't make it so.

              This country has had a massive trade imbalance for years, and it has done great damage to the country.  We either fix it or descend to the average standard of living in those countries we get cheap prices from.  Eventually it will equalize, with them coming up and us going down, but none of us want that.

              1. My Esoteric profile image87
                My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                I already showed you, read my reference, so you need to read it and refute it (don't just complain about it).  You, Wilderness, need to work from real sets of data and not far-right conservative media.  Even normal Republicans disagree with you, at least those not kissing Trump's feet.

                "Massive trade imbalances" - you are as misinformed as Trump is.  Trade imbalances are a reflection of ... nothing in particular.  That is what his economic advisers keep trying to tell him, but he refuses to learn even the basic concepts of international trade.

                The ONLY thing (in 99% if the cases that a deficit means is that in a relatively open market (which is what international trade use to be before Trump) Americans bought goods and services worth more, in aggregate, than Americans sold to China.  In case of a surplus, Americans sold more goods and services to Canada than Canadians bought from America.

                Put simpler, trade balances are the steady-state result from the law of supply and demand - nothing more.

                Trump is upending world order because he is stupid and won't listen to people who know more than him.  (As it turns out, he largely a failed businessman but a hugely successful huckster.)

                It is extremely disingenuous of you to blame the 10% unemployment rate almost a decade ago on NAFTA.  The blame totally lies with the 2008 Great Recession brought on by failed conservative economic policies.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  OK - let's look at your link (purely about NAFTA).

                  It boosted growth by .5 per cent per year (obviously all due to NAFTA, not anything else).  A big beneficiary was the auto industry.

                  It cost jobs, and a big victim was the auto industry.  It seems obvious that without workers any "growth" is purely imaginary.

                  Somehow those two don't seem to fit together very well, do they?

                  It resulted in foreign investment - 240B, while Americans moved 452B to other countries.  Not sure how this is a "pro" when net investment (and job creation) is negative, away from American workers, again costing American jobs.

                  Each nation's government opened bids to foreign countries.  Unsaid is how US companies benefitted vs Canadian and Mexican companies - with the massive difference in overall govt. spending one might assume that those two countries got the lion's share of govt. jobs to foreign companies.

                  Wages were suppressed in the US.  As jobs migrated out of the country (according to your link) employers were under no pressure to raise wages; there was a supply/demand imbalance in the worker/job picture.

                  It produced additional illegal aliens feeding at the American trough and taking American jobs.

                  30% of Mexico's labor force worked in border area manufacturing, shipping it to the US.  Doesn't seem to do much for American workers, though.

                  Bottom line is that there was precious little overall benefit from NAFTA to American workers.  Consumers benefited, though, as particularly Mexican labor was so cheap.  At least as long as we don't figure in the loss of taxes and increase in support costs for those jobs that went to Mexico.

                  I WILL agree, as I've seen in another thread, that a strong trade agreement, opening up very nearly all trade to whoever wants it, would likely be a good thing with Canada.  Ditto for the EU.  They are very close to the US in lifestyle and wages, although govt. subsidies will always be a bone of contention.  Mexico, though - the standard of living and wages are both so far removed from the US that it is very difficult to actually gain anything from Mexico. NAFTA style trade agreements between third world and "first world" countries just aren't going to do well for the richer country - consumers are too stupid and too greedy to realize they are shooting themselves in the foot by buying foreign labor at a tenth the cost it is at home.

                  I didn't blame the enormous unemployment rate on NAFTA and it is disingenuous of you to say I did OR imply that the jobs lost to Mexico didn't play a part in it.  Won't go into the root cause of the housing bubble bursting; I understand the cause and think you do too, and it wasn't "failed conservative economic policies". 

                  Yes, trade balances (or imbalances) are the result of supply and demand.  And when the supply side goes to a different country with cheap labor while demand remains in a country with expensive labor, consumers benefit while workers pay the bill in job loss and lower incomes.

                  Now.  Let's look at the job losses you refuse to acknowledge.  Joe, working in an auto manufacturing plant in Detroit, loses his job when the plant moves to Mexico (under NAFTA perhaps.  Or for some other reason).  Mary, graduating from OSU, finds a job in Portland Or. at the same time.  You're trying to claim that because Mary got a job and total employment went up, Joe's job loss never happened.  Doesn't work for me.

                  Or Joe works making cars, while Karen, a single mother with a child, draws WIC.  Joe loses his job and draws food stamps, while Karen's child aged out of the system and she lost HER WIC as a result.  So Joe didn't go on welfare because there was no net increase in welfare payments for the country.  Still doesn't work for me.  Job loss is very real, whether someone else, someplace else, gets a new job or not.  Same for welfare support.

                  Eso, I've long been an advocate for free trade, but I'm backing off lately.  I always felt that if we were willing to take a reduction of our standard of living, we could raise third world countries to our level and equal the playing field.  Unfortunately, it hasn't worked - we've seen stagnating (or falling) wages for quite a while now...but no corresponding rise in those of the countries, like Mexico, we trade with, and there are dozens more Mexico's if and when they ever join us at the top.  It doesn't work, not for those at the top, as the cost is too high and no one (including me) is willing to pay it.

                  1. My Esoteric profile image87
                    My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    Yes, it is purely about NAFTA - that is the topic isn't it?

                    Yes, that was the experts estimate, that NAFTA boosted GDP by .5% a year.  GDP grew faster than than, but for other reasons.

                    You left out that NAFTA "it quadrupled trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States." - what are the implications of that do you think?  A poorer America? Not really.  It is a growing America because of NAFTA

                    You left out that NAFTA "created jobs. U.S. exports to the other two countries led to almost 5 million new American jobs. In NAFTA's first four years, manufacturers created 800,000 jobs!!!

                    You also left out that NAFTA "tripled foreign direct investment. U.S. businesses invested $452 billion in Mexico and Canada. Companies in those two countries invested $240.2 billion in the United States. That helped U.S. manufacturing, insurance, and banking companies."

                    You left out that NAFTA "lowered prices. U.S. oil imports from Mexico cost less because NAFTA got rid of tariffs." and lower oil prices in America lowered production costs in America which lowered prices and increased profits, in America

                    You left out that NAFTA "increased competition and lowered costs

                    Yes, "500,000-750,000 U.S. jobs were lost in certain industries."  BUT[/] America GAINED [b]5 million jobs. Do the math, and America gained somewhat MORE THAN 4 million jobs due to NAFTA.

                    Yes, NAFTA did suppress wages somewhat in a few industries.  But the economic and job growth FAR outweighs this negative don't you think.  (Or do you think we should have forgone the 4 million jobs and GDP growth in order to keep wages up in a few industries?  Is that your point?

                    Yes, another negative was that NAFTA "Sixth, NAFTA allowed Mexican trucks access into the United States."  Is preventing this worth giving up all the other gains.

                    Finally, and American don't care about this, NAFTA drove Mexican farmers out of business because America was allowed to sell subsidized farm products in Mexico - a Big benefit to American farmers.

                    Yes, Joe may have lost his job but Jane, Mary, Bob, Jack, and Susan found new jobs.  Would you rather that Bob kept his job and the others not gotten work?  That doesn't make sense to me.  How does it to you?  Benefit one American and hurt four others, that is..

                    Yes, we have seen stagnating or falling wages for sure, primarily due to the recession and poor tax policies.  It has almost Zero to do with NAFTA.

                    Finally, let's say we keep everything in the United States rather than let the laws of supply and demand work.  It is problematic that this would benefit American's overall and would probably cost jobs in the end.

                    Why? Because all things would be so expensive in America that Americans couldn't afford to buy them, even at higher wages.  Further, no other country will buy from America because things will simply cost too much here. 

                    Also, keep in mind that 0% to 20% of every extra dollar business earns by forcing Americans to buy American made products goes to higher wages. The remaining 80% to 100% goes in the pockets of shareholders and corporate executives.  (I base that off of the current income inequality figures, btw)

                    Another likely outcome, because all things cost more in America now supply and demand insists that demand will decrease as prices go up.  Less demand equals less production.  Less production means less jobs, even if everything is made in America.  Less jobs means lower GDP growth.  This is why nations aren't economic islands onto themselves and why the world moved away from the economic isolationism popular during Adam Smiths youth.

  2. profile image0
    Ed Fisherposted 5 years ago

    Trade agreements should be torn up and revised every couple of decades , It only makes sense ,  they have to be just as adjustable and interchangeable as national and international economies are themselves , mfg's change , fisheries , crop growers ,  natural resources , technologies ,  E- sales , auto industries , ..........Name me one industry, corporation or area of an economy that doesn't change .What about the volatility of national economies alone ? Look at the US dollar and the Canadian dollar alone . Very few people understand the complexities  .

  3. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image82
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 5 years ago

    Mexico has never been a strong ally, as the Mexican government has forever been wildly corrupt. Canada can't be thought a strong ally with left wing extremist Castro's son running the show. He's an international embarrassment to everyone. Justin of 'peoplekind.'

    Everything Trump is doing will benefit us, as the US has much more leverage than, literally, anyone on the planet. It's so wonderful to have a masculine POTUS, rather than a feminine one like Obama.

    1. My Esoteric profile image87
      My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Your crazy Todd, I bet you believe Trump tells the truth, lol.

      1. Aime F profile image70
        Aime Fposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        A Trump fan calling Trudeau an international embarrassment. That’s cute.

        1. My Esoteric profile image87
          My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Yes it is, lol.

  4. profile image0
    Ed Fisherposted 5 years ago

    Canada can at times be like grouper or pilot fish at the head of the whale , scrambling , grouping , stealing and feeding from within the feeding pattern of the whale .  Massive , major offsets in tariffs  AT American's expense has been around for a century or more  ,  dairy ,  wood products , whatever born of cheaper labor markets and so  cheaper products , Today auto industry , dairy , wood products ,specialty food products ,  building products like doors , windows , roofing and siding products .

    Mexico on the other hand has sold out to the cheap , cheap , cheap labor market of mostly subcontractor products to again , the auto industry , appliances , tech  , high labor inclusive products like anything to do with steel , welding , fencing ,  steel building products ,     enough is enough with American jobs  going down the toilet  to unappreciative cultures ,, in the meantime THEY export their cultures of poverty , prisons and welfare to America ?

    Not anymore .

    1. My Esoteric profile image87
      My Esotericposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Ludicrous, lol.  I can't really believe you think that bunk is true.


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