Pretend President Pretends To Can NAFTA, Let's Pretend To Clap!
Before we get down to making dick jokes about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), let's remind ourselves of the ground rules.
- Rule Number 1: Donald Trump thinks he's the yuuuuuugely bestest dealmaker in the world.
- Rule Number 2: Donald Trump is actually shit at negotiating deals.
"See if you can make a deal with Mexico," Trump barked.
And hey, since all these reporters are here in the Oval, let's check in with our buddy Enrique. Enrique, are you there?
How 'bout now? Oh, you are there? And you're not signing shit without Justin? Oh, Enrique, you're such a kidder!
¡Ay, por Dios!
Despite Trump's bizarre assertion that Mexico will immediately start buying "as much farm product as they can" from US farmers, the bulk of the proposed agreement appears to involve auto-manufacturing. WaPo reports,
In recent days, U.S. and Mexican diplomats reached agreement on key elements of a new treaty, including an increase in the percentage of each car -- to 75 percent from the current 62.5 percent -- that must be made in North America to qualify for duty-free treatment.
The two sides agreed to a provision that would require a significant portion of each vehicle to be made in high-wage factories, a measure aimed at discouraging factory jobs from leaving the United States for Mexico.
Negotiators also resolved a dispute over how to treat cars and trucks produced in Mexican plants that do not comply with the new treaty's content rules. American companies importing those vehicles will pay a 2.5 percent tariff.
Which is all well and good, except that we're all expected to applaud like trained seals and shout, "Hosanna, our God King has given us three vaguely worded, one-page fact sheets, which is an excellent replacement for a 1,700-page omnibus trade deal!" Also, there's the small matter of Canada.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was already en route to DC for tri-lateral trade discussions, which may or may not produce an agreement by Friday. But come hell or high water, Donald Trump will be presenting something to Congress on Friday and touting it as a super-excellent replacement for NAFTA. Or maybe his aides will just distract him with a hot sack of Big Macs, and hope he forgets all about it. WHO THE HELL KNOWS!
Shit, maybe it will even work! Mexico seems to be signaling a willingness to sign a bilateral deal if the US and Canada can't work out their differences in the next 104 hours.
But right now, Trump's got an agreement to talk about making an agreement and just a few minutes left on the clock. Which means he's got JACK SHIT.
Third verse, same as the fuckin' first.
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