Will Democrats stand up for Americans, or will they block President Trump’s economic nationalist agenda? Which side are they on?
The new Congress will vote on USMCA, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement President Trump negotiated to fulfill his promise to replace NAFTA.
That’s when we’ll see what the newly empowered Democrats are made of.
Organized labor loathed NAFTA, which fueled the auto industry’s move from the Midwest to Mexico. Working Americans knew China was bleeding America dry through its wholesale theft of industrial secrets and countless predatory trade practices.
Union members have always supported tough trade policies, and that’s why so many of them voted to elect Donald J. Trump president.
Democrats have traditionally relied on labor’s support, and to get it candidate Bill Clinton said he’d crack down on “the butchers of Beijing,” and candidate Obama promised to renegotiate NAFTA. (Both reneged.)
Now that President Trump is getting tough on trade, you hear crickets from the Democratic side of the aisle.
With the rare exception, Democrats have refused to step up and say, “We back the president four square, keep going, double the tariffs on China, triple down if necessary, it’s about time.” That’s what they all should be saying, because it’s what so many elected Democrats have purported to believe.
This silence gives reason to believe Democrats may once again betray working Americans and oppose the administration’s China policy, the USMCA and President Trump’s entire economic nationalist agenda.
If so, it would be more than a case of “If President Trump is for it, we’re against it” #Resistance.
It would be the calculated outcome of an alliance between the two wings of the Democratic Party – the Hillary Clinton-Wall Street-Fortune-50-global-corporate wing of the party and the Democratic Socialist wing of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes and her ilk.
They seem to have divergent interests and beliefs, but in the words of Pat Buchanan, they are two wings of the same bird of prey.
There’s always been an unholy alliance between corporatism and the left. Since the birth of the progressive movement, big corporations have used the instrument of big government regulation to cement their market position and strangle small businesses, upstarts and insurgents who threatened their dominance.
In a larger sense, corporatism – rule by unaccountable corporate bureaucracies – is indistinguishable from socialism, rule by unaccountable state bureaucracies. Both exhibit the same regimented workforce and concentrated ownership of property, one by hegemonic corporations, the other by the state.
The globalism espoused by Clinton corporatists– the free flow of people, goods and money across borders – is congruent with the open-borders dogma of Ocasio-Cortes – “Abolish ICE, Abolish borders.” Wall Street is the biggest proponent of globalist so-called free trade. Finance capital makes a killing moving American jobs to China.
In this last election cycle, Wall Street and big business gave more money to Democratic candidates than Republicans, breaking a years-long trend.
What did they buy for their money?
A quarter century ago, President Bill Clinton threw labor Democrats under the bus to back NAFTA and open trade with China. In return, Wall Street wrote checks to the Democratic Party, something they’d never done before.
Today, the new Democratic Party plants its flag on race, gender and lifestyle. Wall Street titans a la Michael Bloomberg are welcome as long as they support the “social issues.”
No one cared – or even noticed – that liberal heartthrob Beto O’Rourke supported the TransPacific Partnership, aka Obamatrade, the trade deal President Trump tore up on his first day in office to the cheers of rank and file unionists and Bernie bros.
Going forward, watch if the newly empowered Democrats carp about “insufficient” labor or environmental protections in USMCA and use it as a pretext to oppose the agreement, allying themselves with U.S. Chamber of Commerce types in the process.
Democrats would be counting on this cover story – along with skateboards and cries of “Racism!” – to keep everyone distracted while they repay the Wall Street moneymen who backed them in the last election cycle.