01.17.2020 0

Trump pulls U.S. out of NAFTA with passage of USMCA, keeps key promise to put America first on trade

NAFTA no more as President Trump wins USMCA passage in Senate, keeps signature campaign promise to put America first on trade:

A little more than a year after President Donald Trump promised to withdraw from NAFTA if Congress did not adopt the USMCA — on Dec. 1, 2018, he said, “I’ll be terminating it within a relatively short period of time. We get rid of NAFTA. It’s been a disaster for the United States… And so Congress will have a choice of the USMCA or pre-NAFTA, which worked very well…” — on Jan. 16, the Senate has overwhelmingly adopted the USMCA 89 to 10. Senate passage came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) finally relented and allowed the trade deal to come up on the House floor, followed shortly thereafter by House passage 385 to 41 on Dec. 19, 2019. None of this is surprising. President Trump won in 2016 in the Rust Belt particularly on the political strength of his trade agenda, uniting conservative and union households and savaging Hillary Clinton as a pro-NAFTA pretender. Now, Trump’s success in reshaping American politics around trade has now been confirmed by the massive bipartisan support for the USMCA. Both Democratic Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters voted for it. That tells you everything you need to know right there. The blue-collar Democrats who supported President Donald Trump in 2016 and put him over the top ended up supporting the Trump trade agenda, making passage of the USMCA a political certainty even as Democrats in Congress were itching to impeach Trump and get the Senate trial underway. This tells you there was greater political risk in going against Trump on his signature issue than anything else. What do you think?

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