In true reality show fashion, Mr. Trump invited reporters into the oval office to announce his pending trade deal with Mexico. Mr. Trump wanted reporters to hear Mexico President, Enrique Peña Nieto confirm the deal. But when Trump hit the talk button, no one was there. With TV cameras rolling, Trump proved he was more concerned with the sizzle of the deal, not the meat of the deal. The phone call was another Hollywood stunt to show Trump supporters he is doing a great job.
Mr. Trump promised to rework the NAFTA deal with Canada and Mexico while he was campaigning. NAFTA is a bad deal for the United States, according to Trump, and his mission is to fix it. But after almost two years of Mexico and Canada bashing, the NAFTA deal is still up in the air. This preliminary deal with Mexico doesn’t include Canada. The old NAFTA agreement required automakers to produce 62.5 percent of their automobiles in the United States in order to qualify for no tariffs. The new deal is automakers must produce 75 percent of their automobiles in the United States.
Canada walked away from the NAFTA talks after Trump threw Canada and the country’s Prime Minister under the political bus on more than one occasion. Trump said he might impose new tariffs on Canada if they don’t come to terms with his new North American Free Trade Agreement. Since Canada is not participating in the talks right now, Trump thinks the new agreement should be the U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement.
According to Mr. Trump, he did what he said he would do, and this new agreement is a win for the United States. But any revision to NAFTA must get congressional approval. And that approval may take 90 days if it comes at all.
Canada didn’t attend the recent NAFTA discussions. Ottawa lawmakers say they aren’t in a hurry to agree to anything that hurts Canada. Trump told news reporters negotiations with Canada will start again this week. But Canada is still fuming over Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum as well as his comments about the prime minister.
Mexico wants Canada to participate. Even though Trump is celebrating, the new agreement is not a done deal. The original NAFTA deal may be a bad deal, according to Mr. Trump. But it generates a $112 billion in exports and supports one million jobs in Texas, according to Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke.