UNITED NATIONS – American workers may have to thank NAFTA, Mexico and Donald Trump for saving more of their jobs from being outsourced to Asia.
Trade ministers met in Hawaii hoping to reach a final agreement on the TransPacific Partnership, a sweeping international regulatory agreement that seeks to “integrate the economies” of 12 nations on four continents.
But they failed to get a deal, and it’s all because of Mexico and NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The elites pushed NAFTA back in 1994 promising to “integrate the economies” – that phrase – of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Ross Perot famously – and prophetically – warned of a giant sucking sound of jobs leaving the U.S.
As predicted, once NAFTA was adopted, the U.S. auto industry decamped for the cheap labor of Mexico. Once-thriving industrial cities across the Midwest became ghost towns, and Mexico now has the second largest auto industry in the world. It’s also the fourth largest exporter, with most of those cars going to the U.S.
NAFTA requires that autos made in Mexico must have more than 60 percent of their parts made in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico to get duty-free access to the giant U.S. auto market. This has helped keep alive what’s left of our auto parts industry.
Now along comes the TransPacific Partnership, or TPP, aka Obamatrade. It’s being sold as an essential part of President Obama’s geopolitical grand strategy to “pivot to Asia” and bind the U.S. to the region where he attended high school.
The second largest economy in TPP after the U.S. is Japan, whose auto industry did to Detroit what the A-bomb did to Hiroshima.
Japan wants to use the TPP to get more Japanese autos into the U.S. duty-free. The U.S. negotiating team helpfully struck a deal with Japan that said only 30 percent of the parts in Japanese cars would have to be made in TPP countries. Japan relies heavily on auto parts makers in Thailand and China – countries that are not in the TPP.
When Mexico heard about this in Hawaii, the negotiations, well, went south fast. It blew up the talks. This time, Japan was on the receiving end of the Pearl Harbor treatment.
Mexico wasn’t about to stand by and watch an auto industry it wrested from the U.S. be taken away to Southeast Asia.
Mexico’s economics minister frankly told the U.S. trade representative “you can accuse me” of pushing “the interests of my country.”
Our government won’t stand up for American jobs and industry, but Mexico’s government stands up for theirs. Even though Obama is willing to give away the ranch to “secure his legacy,” Mexico won’t let him give away their ranch. It’s a Mexican standoff.
And how does The Donald figure in?
Donald Trump’s outspoken opposition to Obamatrade is an essential plank of his Put American Workers First platform and has earned him frontrunner status.
If Obama’s crack Obamatrade negotiating team reached an agreement today, Congress couldn’t vote on it before February 2016, according to the fast track timetable adopted under the stewardship of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Paul Ryan.
That means Congress would be debating this wildly unpopular job-killing deal right in the middle of the presidential primaries when the leading Republican candidate opposes it.
Will the GOP establishment continue to pimp Obamatrade even if it means guaranteeing Trump the nomination?