It is possible—and necessary—to loudly condemn the racism essential to Trump’s rise, the racism his voters articulated and countenanced, while simultaneously building a broad political movement that targets if not those very voters, then ones very much like them who stayed home on election day. However, doing so requires abandoning the most comforting liberal narratives about the right and its supporters.
Like so many previously held assumptions, the assumed alliance and cooperation between the United States and Mexico is being tested, if not toppled. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto is confronted with an unapologetic Trump ready to tear up the 23-year old NAFTA, deport millions of illegal Mexican immigrants, and build his wall.
Illegal immigration from Mexico is yesterday’s problem. Last year, more Mexicans left the United States than entered, according to the Pew Research Center. But if Donald Trump were to follow through on threats to ditch or decimate the North American Free Trade Agreement, illegal immigration from Mexico would become tomorrow’s problem.
Taking a page out of Trump’s playbook, President Enrique Pena Nieto fired the salvo on Twitter, after Trump’s call for Mexico to foot the bill for his planned wall prompted a groundswell of calls in Mexico for next week’s meeting to be called off.
Auto industry officials expect Trump to urge Canada and Mexico to agree to new tougher “rules of origin” that would require a higher percentage of North American content to be considered tariff free. Under NAFTA, at least 62.5 percent of a passenger car or light truck’s net cost must originate in North America – defined as the United States, Canada, or Mexico – to avoid tariffs.
U.S. President Donald Trump could sign an executive order as early as Monday morning intended to renegotiate NAFTA. In addition to wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the new Republican president also intends to sign an executive order pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), NBC reported.
The 1980s became known as the “Super Dollar era,” as the dollar appreciated significantly against both the Japanese yen and the German deutschemark, then the U.S.’s most significant trading partners. Not surprisingly, the U.S. trade deficit skyrocketed, as imported goods became more price competitive and U.S. exports suffered abroad.
Ross’ history owning and defending embattled steel and textile manufacturing companies that have relied on border duties to protect their industries means he will bring a unique approach to the commerce secretary job, departing from the traditional role of cheerleading for free trade and big business.
Lighthizer is not expected to be the Trump administration’s leading voice on trade policy. Last month, Trump’s team said that task would fall to the U.S. Commerce Secretary nominee, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.
Under the most dire scenario, a trade war would kill nearly 5 million U.S. jobs, with Washington state hit the hardest of any state, losing 5 percent of its private sector jobs, or a total of 127,685, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a pro-trade group.
President-elect Donald Trump named Peter Navarro, an economist who has urged a hard line on trade with China, to head a newly formed White House National Trade Council, the transition team said on Wednesday.
Despite his populist rhetoric, what Trump proposes is scarcely different from what all of his Republican predecessors did. And that doesn’t bode well for jobs.
Trump instead made five more modest promises in an effort to soften his message while he establishes an inner circle of hard-liners, including Steve Bannon.
Trump boasted he would make the Carrier cry uncle if they tried to move to Mexico: “I’ll get a call from the head of Carrier and he’ll say, Mr. President, we’ve decided to stay in the United States. That’s what’s going to happen—100 percent.” Will he follow through on this promise?
Those who favored Clinton on trade mainly gave two reasons – first, that international trade deals can help people by lowering prices for goods; and second, they doubt Trump can deliver on his promise to restore the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Even many who oppose NAFTA acknowledge it would be disruptive to suddenly erect barriers, given the way companies have shifted supply chains to integrate Mexico.
“Trump blames it all on Hillary and Bill Clinton, but this has been a bipartisan policy — and one that has been supported mostly by Republicans,” said Robert E. Scott, who is director of trade and manufacturing policy research at the Economic Policy Institute.
The bipartisan consensus forged in the ’90s that foreign trade is good for America is quickly vanishing. The fiery populism that has fueled the 2016 presidential campaign has elevated candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who are blaming free trade deals for the country’s economic malaise.
Conservative Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman joined a chorus of media and policy experts from across the political spectrum in criticizing Donald Trump’s promise to bring back American manufacturing jobs by curbing free trade.
In March, Trump said he might permit Japan and South Korea to build nuclear weapons arsenals to ease U.S. defense commitments. Experts say this would be incredibly dangerous. “His stated indifference towards nuclear proliferation in Asia raises the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the world’s most heavily populated continent,” the EIU writes.
Skepticism surrounding the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership has built up on both sides of the American political spectrum, and indeed around the world, but key differences are emerging on the left just weeks ahead of the Democratic National Convention.
Ted Cruz has taken to co-opting populist messaging on “wages,” but his own record is clear: Cruz has been a consistent opponent of raising the minimum wage, and is even skeptical of the concept of a minimum wage itself.
As a handful of well-respected economists belatedly concede, the free trade agreements that drew bipartisan support for much of the last 25 years never brought the broad prosperity that was promised.
Corporations may still be considered people under U.S. domestic law — but under American trade policy, they get far more rights than almost everyone else.