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TRADE RETHINK? Canada Ready to ‘Rework’ NAFTA with Donald Trump – As China Pivots Away from TPP Deal

Shawn Helton
21st Century Wire
 

Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau announced he’s ready to ‘reassess’ the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with US President-elect Donald Trump, as China pivots away from a highly unpopular Obama-sponsored TPP trade deal…

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‘NEW DAWN’ – President-elect Donald Trump looks to redraw new trade deals for America. (Image Source: Gizmodo)

New NAFTA?

What was unthinkable a year ago, is now being considered as a strong possibility.

AFP news discussed Canada’s willingness to reassess NAFTA with newly elected President Donald Trump. Here’s the following passage describing the recent development:

“Ottawa (AFP) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he is willing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which US President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to change or scrap.

During the campaign, Trump called NAFTA the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed, while proposing protectionist measures to repatriate American jobs lost to free trade.

Here’s the important passage though:

“I think it’s important that we be open to talking about trade deals,” Trudeau — a fierce defender of free trade, which helps bolster the Canadian economy — told reporters.

“If the Americans want to talk about NAFTA, I’m more than happy to talk about it,” he said, adding that it was important to periodically reassess trade deals to ensure that they continue to be of benefit to Canadians.”

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NAFTA NEGOTIATION? – Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau suggests reworking NAFTA. (Image Source: twitter)

The Obama-Clinton Legacy: ‘NAFTA’s Stain’ 

While the US government and mainstream media (along with riotous anti-trump protestors incited by the George Soros led NGO MoveOn) remain in a state of shock after Donald Trump‘s stunning upset over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Canada has opened the door to new trade possibilities concerning NAFTA.

During the 2016 election at many Trump rally speeches throughout the US, NAFTA became a hot topic. In fact, he discussed renegotiating or ‘scrapping’ the trade deal altogether while campaigning within rust-belt-states like Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This political strategy clearly resonated among the working class and those negatively impacted by NAFTA, translating into perhaps one of the larger reasons why Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States.

NAFTA has long since been maligned by American workers due to the number of jobs that have been outsourced since its inception. The trade deal was pursued under George H.W. Bush, later signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993.

In an interview on PBS’s NewsHour, Lori Wallach of  Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch outlined the economic fallout since NAFTA took effect – a trade deal best remembered by a loss of over a million US jobs according to Wallach:

“So there has been a large increase in trade. But a lot of it has been a flood of new NAFTA imports. NAFTA did include investor protections. Those incentivized offshoring of U.S. investments and jobs. So, while we have seen a flood of more trade, it’s 700 percent of that is actually the imports.

So we have had a growth in our trade deficit of almost 500 percent, 480 percent. So just the numbers, before NAFTA, we had a slight surplus with Mexico in trade. And with Canada, we have about a $30 billion deficit. The end-of-year U.S. International Trade Commission official government trade data came out last week. We have a $177 billion combined NAFTA trade deficit.

Using the administration’s old multiplier of what that means for jobs, that’s a net loss of accumulation of over a million jobs. And there’s a government database that has 845,000 specific NAFTA casualties to our manufacturing workers who have been certified for assistance.”

Additionally, Public Citizen wrote a 20th anniversary analysis of the 22-year-old NAFTA deal. Here’s a key passage from their report – a detailed synopsis which underscored the impact of NAFTA on America:

“NAFTA was an experiment, establishing a radically new “trade” agreement model. NAFTA was fundamentally different than past trade agreements in that it was only partially about trade. Indeed, it shattered the boundaries of past U.S. trade pacts, which had focused narrowly on cutting tariffs and easing quotas. In contrast, NAFTA created new privileges and protections for foreign investors that incentivized the offshoring of investment and jobs by eliminating many of the risks normally associated with moving production to low-wage countries.”

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‘DOUBLE DEALING’ – Bill Clinton seen above signing NAFTA into law. (Image Source: deseret news)

From NAFTA to TPP & Beyond

The TPP trade deal has been covered extensively at 21WIRE  over the past few years. It is an international trade law for new trade treaties that looks to be a way for private corporations to exempt themselves from the laws of sovereign nations under the guise of a so-called free-trade agreement.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations hit the mainstream over the past year after the US Senate approval of the controversial trade bill in May 2015.

Over the summer, the Financial Times reported that the Clinton family ties to NAFTA and their initial glowing support for the TPP led to a precarious political turn of events for Washington:

“It is time to pronounce the Trans-Pacific Partnership clinically dead. Hillary Clintonhad already put Barack Obama’s signature deal — the biggest US trade initiative in more than a decade — on life support when she came out against it last year. Donald Trump has vowed to scrap it, which meant that whoever took the White House would have pledged its demise. Yet the suspicion lingered that Mrs Clinton was simply following her husband’s bait-and-switch tactics. Bill Clinton ran strongly against the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1992 only to do whatever it took to ensure Nafta passed after he took office.”

In many ways, Clinton’s mounting scandals were exacerbated by her disingenuous ‘flip-flop’ over the TPP deal, echoing the politicization of NAFTA during the 1990s. This ultimately contributed greatly to the loss of key battleground states in the US election for Clinton, which was further underscored by the public’s repudiation of President Obama’s healthcare mandate and overall poor economic performance over his 8 years in office – evidenced by the lowest GDP growth rates in US history.

Following news of the US election results, China has chosen to move away from the globalist TPP deal, and instead refocus energy on new agreements. The following incredible statement was reported by Reuters:

“China will seek support for a Beijing-led Asia-Pacific free trade area at a regional summit in Peru later this month, Chinese officials said on Thursday, after Donald Trump’s U.S. election win dashed hopes for a U.S.-led free trade pact.

During his election campaign Trump took a protectionist stance on trade issues and labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) championed by President Barack Obama a “disaster”. There is now little chance of it coming up for vote in Washington before his inauguration in January.

Obama had framed TPP, which excluded China, as an effort to write Asia’s trade rules before Beijing could, establishing U.S. economic leadership in the region as part of his “pivot to Asia”.

Briefing journalists ahead of President Xi Jinping’s departure for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru from Nov. 19-20, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong warned of the rise of protectionism and said the region needed a free trade agreement as soon as possible.

“Trade and investment protectionism is rearing its head, and Asia-Pacific faces insufficient momentum for internal growth, and difficulties in advancing reforms,” Li said.”

More from CBC news below…

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‘NEW VOICE’ – Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, criticized Trudeau for not making Keystone XL pipeline a top priority. (Image Source: CTV News)

Justin Trudeau invites Donald Trump to visit Canada in call that marks ‘strong beginning’

CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invited U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to visit Canada “at his earliest opportunity.”

Trudeau called Trump on Wednesday night to congratulate him on his election victory, and the two discussed “various areas of mutual interest.”

“It was a brief call, but it was a strong beginning to what is going to be a constructive relationship,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Sydney, N.S., this morning.

Asked by reporters how he would explain to children that a “sexist, racist, bully” was taking office, Trudeau stressed the need to promote a strong working relationship with anyone who the American people elect.

It’s important to work constructively with whomever is president because “that’s what Canadians expect,” he said.

“Canadians expect me to stand up for Canadian rights, Canadian opportunities, Canadian jobs and Canadian values,” he said. “And I will do that in a way that continues to do that in a way that continues to benefit our country and its position in the world.”

Trudeau said Trump expressed “warmth” for Canada during the call.

It has become a tradition that the first foreign visit by a U.S. president is to Canada. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Trump also extended an invitation for Trudeau to visit Washington.

No details were provided on when either visit could take place.

Trudeau’s telephone call came after he met with some of his senior advisers and cabinet ministers, who discussed the tone and approach the prime minister should take in the debut meeting with Trump.

CBC news continues here

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  • Brozza

    From an Aussie perspective, good riddance to the TTP.