Ask President Donald Trump, and he’s the greatest thing to ever happen to the United States. He got laughs for a remark to that effect offered recently before the United Nations General Assembly, but he’s still continuing on with that line of rhetoric anyway.
As the new week began, the U.S. and Canada finally struck a deal covering the future of North American trade, meaning that the continental trading bloc wouldn’t be broken up after all. The deal has been termed the “United States/Mexico/Canada Agreement,” and — upon approval by the U.S. Congress — “takes the place” of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. To be clear, although Trump has claimed otherwise, his new deal enacts changes to NAFTA without activating the termination clause — which is one of many issues with the president’s rhetoric.
Monday in the Rose Garden, Trump offered praise for the new deal, calling it the “most modern, up to date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country” and the “most advanced trade deal in the world” and maybe even the “single greatest agreement we ever signed.” (No diplomats were on hand to laugh at this set of hyperbolic nonsense.)
He’s hellbent on the idea that NAFTA was one of the worst deals in the history of the United States, claiming that the nation has lost massive amounts of jobs and cash under its provisions. That’s just not an accurate representation of the situation, although he reiterated as much during his Monday remarks. He’s pointed to supposedly suffocating trade deficits that have in the past been maintained by the U.S. with Mexico and Canada, but those deficits don’t constitute “losses.” When someone goes to a store and buys something, they don’t go away bemoaning their “loss” and dreaming up some way to get that exact money back. They move on.
‘[A] deficit means that a country’s consumers are wealthy enough to purchase more goods than the country produces. When production cannot meet demand, imports from other nations increase. A trade deficit is not necessarily detrimental because it often corrects itself over time. An increase in imported goods from other countries decreases the price of consumer goods in the nation.’
In other words, there’s more to the story than Trump lets on, but he’s continuing on anyway. He continues to fail to grasp some apparent basic principles of economics. The global market moves on — in an ideal world — with development allowing business to add new methods of operation, but if Trump has his way — which he reiterated during his Monday remarks — no manufacturing jobs will be “lost,” no matter the cost.
‘People want to be back in the United States. As I say, the United States is respected again, but it’s also respected with trade and industry.’
His Monday evidence for that claim included basic lies, like that Japan refused to negotiate on trade issues with Barack Obama’s administration. In reality, they helped set the Trans-Pacific Partnership in place.
He’s also touted the fact that a number of companies have made decisions to invest in their U.S. operations since he took office — but it didn’t start with him. It’s like he’s taking credit for the basics of the entirety of the situation — which is actually exactly what he’s doing.
He says his suffocating tariffs were among the best things to happen in awhile and responsible for the present prosperity, offering:
‘Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here… Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be talking about a deal. Just for those BABIES out there that keep talking about tariffs.’
Yes, this is the level we’re at.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot