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38 minutes ago, downzy said:

Did you not read the article i posted above?  That’s exactly what the Democrats did when they took over the house early this year as a result of their win in the mid-terms. 

What about when Obama was President and they had both the house and senate? Where was the motivation to change NAFTA then?

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Interesting to note, Canadian Deputy PM (formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs, when these renegotiations began), Chrystia Freelands' main talking point on the recent round of talks was that Canada was pushing for labour protections for Mexican factory workers. (aluminum being the second primary talking point)

Seems a very Canadian attitude on the surface, to not ask for the right to our own water back, but push for other countries workers rights. But its a very neoliberal kinda 'everythings fine here and the system is a force for positive changes abroad' assumption. Once again Canada played good cop to the US's bad cop in dealings with anyone to our collective south.

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39 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

What about when Obama was President and they had both the house and senate? Where was the motivation to change NAFTA then?

Thought we were talking about why Democrats didn't push more during the Trump administration.  

Guess you want to move the goal posts on this one?

Okay, fine.

Democrats only had unitary party control of the House, Senate and White house for two years during Obama's first term (and really only 10 months, with the loss of the Massachusetts senate seat in November/December).  

Not sure if you remember but there were other, far larger, pressing concerns going on between 2009 and 2011.  Opening up one of the world's largest trade deals amidst a global economic and financial crisis probably would not have been the best timing.  

The other issue with opening up trade deals is you don't know how they're going to end up.  It's a very risky move and could backfire if negotiations do not yield agreement on changes.  It's largely why this whole trade deal is just window dressing; NAFTA and USMCA really aren't all the different because a complete reboot of the trade deal isn't possible. 

You also have to understand that the Obama administration and Democrats would have likely made the trade agreement friendlier to environmental and labour interests.  There's always been interest by the left and liberals to decrease authority corporations have over state sovereignty.  Chapter 20 of NAFTA has always been derided by labour and environment groups and many would have loved to see it removed altogether.  

Any amendments that make things worse for commerce or pharma would have torpedoed the bill in the Senate, where after November of 2009 the Democrats no longer had a filibuster proof majority.  True, Obama could have instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to initiate negotiations on day one of his presidency, but again, Obama had other pressing concerns like the collapse of the global and US economy.  And trade negotiations take a long time.  And as I mentioned, by the time things would have wrapped up Democrats would have lost their filibuster proof majority in the Senate.  The whole thing would have been a waste of time and focus.  

You're already seeing Republicans in the current Senate rejecting the changes as a result of Pelosi pressing for protections for labour and the environment:

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/10/toomey-rips-trump-trade-deal-080686

Republicans also aren't happy with the surprise development that patent protections on biologics are being rolled back to what they were in NAFTA.  

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43 minutes ago, soon said:

Interesting to note, Canadian Deputy PM (formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs, when these renegotiations began), Chrystia Freelands' main talking point on the recent round of talks was that Canada was pushing for labour protections for Mexican factory workers. (aluminum being the second primary talking point)

Seems a very Canadian attitude on the surface, to not ask for the right to our own water back, but push for other countries workers rights. But its a very neoliberal kinda 'everythings fine here and the system is a force for positive changes abroad' assumption. Once again Canada played good cop to the US's bad cop in dealings with anyone to our collective south.

I wouldn't say that Canada is altogether altruistic in its efforts to improve Mexican labour standards.  

Any improvements in Mexico for labourers also means the cost of production in Mexico goes up.  That makes Mexican exports more expensive and Canadian imports more attractive.  There's less incentive to move manufacturing to Mexico from Canada and the US if cost of production in Mexico increases relative to costs in Canada and the US.  Thus it's also about saving jobs in Canada. 

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31 minutes ago, downzy said:

I wouldn't say that Canada is altogether altruistic in its efforts to improve Mexican labour standards.  

Any improvements in Mexico for labourers also means the cost of production in Mexico goes up.  That makes Mexican exports more expensive and Canadian imports more attractive.  There's less incentive to move manufacturing to Mexico from Canada and the US if cost of production in Mexico increases relative to costs in Canada and the US.  Thus it's also about saving jobs in Canada. 

Indeed. While I wasnt speaking to the cogent point that you've raised, I was intending to suggest that it wasnt at all motivated by altruistic concerns. The "... raises all boats" lie of neoliberal adjustments.

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50 minutes ago, downzy said:

Thought we were talking about why Democrats didn't push more during the Trump administration.  

Guess you want to move the goal posts on this one?

Okay, fine.

Democrats only had unitary party control of the House, Senate and White house for two years during Obama's first term (and really only 10 months, with the loss of the Massachusetts senate seat in November/December).  

Not sure if you remember but there were other, far larger, pressing concerns going on between 2009 and 2011.  Opening up one of the world's largest trade deals amidst a global economic and financial crisis probably would not have been the best timing.  

The other issue with opening up trade deals is you don't know how they're going to end up.  It's a very risky move and could backfire if negotiations do not yield agreement on changes.  It's largely why this whole trade deal is just window dressing; NAFTA and USMCA really aren't all the different because a complete reboot of the trade deal isn't possible. 

You also have to understand that the Obama administration and Democrats would have likely made the trade agreement friendlier to environmental and labour interests.  There's always been interest by the left and liberals to decrease authority corporations have over state sovereignty.  Chapter 20 of NAFTA has always been derided by labour and environment groups and many would have loved to see it removed altogether.  

Any amendments that make things worse for commerce or pharma would have torpedoed the bill in the Senate, where after November of 2009 the Democrats no longer had a filibuster proof majority.  True, Obama could have instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to initiate negotiations on day one of his presidency, but again, Obama had other pressing concerns like the collapse of the global and US economy.  And trade negotiations take a long time.  And as I mentioned, by the time things would have wrapped up Democrats would have lost their filibuster proof majority in the Senate.  The whole thing would have been a waste of time and focus.  

You're already seeing Republicans in the current Senate rejecting the changes as a result of Pelosi pressing for protections for labour and the environment:

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/10/toomey-rips-trump-trade-deal-080686

Republicans also aren't happy with the surprise development that patent protections on biologics are being rolled back to what they were in NAFTA.  

History didn't start on January 20, 2017, so why should I ignore what went on before that?

My point is simple, Trump took the risk in opening up the renegotiation of NAFTA (which a lot of people on both the right and left think should have been done for years now). Virtually no other Republican would have done this, I'm not a Republican party shill and I think most Republican positions, especially on economics, are shitty. So I'm getting that out of the way lest you think I'm team Republican. Trump took the risk, and only then did the Democrats start pushing him to try and get even more out of the deal. Good for them for finally coming on board, but I'm not going to give them a pass for their inaction on this for years (and neither will I give the Republicans a pass who are even worse on this stuff). Of course, this is all with the exception of people like Bernie who have been talking about trade for years.

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42 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

History didn't start on January 20, 2017, so why should I ignore what went on before that?

Because that wasn't your original point. 

Here's what you originally stated:

"The saddest part of all is why the Democrats weren't pushing Trump from the beginning to push for an even stronger deal than the USMCA"

42 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

My point is simple

A different point you were originally making.

42 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

Trump took the risk in opening up the renegotiation of NAFTA (which a lot of people on both the right and left think should have been done for years now). Virtually no other Republican would have done this

Except Trump did it not because he understood trade policy, but because he made nonsense claims in his presidential campaign about NAFTA being the worse trade deal ever negotiated; that if he were to become President he would rip up NAFTA and craft a new deal with the top negotiators, who he knows personally.  The USMCA isn't a new deal.  It's window dressing on the same house.  There's very little difference between the two deals.  It's why he was adamant about changing the name.  This way he can say it's a whole new deal and significantly better NAFTA, which isn't really true.

This isn't to say there aren't some notable changes and that NAFTA wasn't in need of updating.  But that was never really Trump's motivation.  He made a bunch of promises in the campaign and the net result of re-negotiating NAFTA is not structural or revolutionary.  

NAFTA never touched upon digital trade since in the late 80s and early 90s when it was being negotiated digital trade was not a concern.  So that was something that needed to be addressed.

The significant changes relates to reducing tariffs.  More specifically, tariff reduction on American dairy products in Canada and Canadian peanut and nut products in the U.S.  So unless you're a dairy farmer in Canada or peanut farmer in the U.S., this change really doesn't affect you (though I suppose the price of peanuts and dairy products might see a decrease).

Finally, the other big difference between NAFTA and the USMCA relates to auto production and how much of the car must be made and assembled in North America to qualify for free-trade status (from 62.5 percent in NAFTA to 75 percent in the USMCA).  There's also some enforcement language in the new trade deal but it remains to be seen if anything really changes on that front.

For the most part there really isn't anything existentially different between the two trade deals.  It gives Democrats some minor victories on labour and environment standards in Mexico and allows Trump to claim that he negotiated and signed the best trade deal ever regardless of the similarities between the two agreements.  For Trump this has everything to do with political theatre and nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of trade between the U.S. and its neighbours. 

 

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https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/rep-swalwell-outlines-impeachment-evidence-in-five-minutes-74845253632?cid=sm_fb_maddow&fbclid=IwAR0jGIDyt_LS8m1VklCQmC3xJ25bkgxGf9tZLMjU-Zf-QhgrutuV7utdoPo


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Mr. Goldman, who sent Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to smear Joe Biden?
DANIEL GOLDMAN: President Trump.
Who fired the anti-corruption ambassador in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch?
President Trump.
Who told Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine?
President Trump.
Who told Vice President Pence to not go to President Zelensky's inauguration?
President Trump.
Who ordered his own chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to withhold critical military assistance to Ukraine?
President Trump.
Who refused to meet with President Zelensky in the Oval Office?
President Trump.
Who ignored, on July 25, his own National Security Council`s anti-corruption talking points?
President Trump.
Who asked President Zelensky for a favor?
President Trump.
Who personally asked President Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden?
President Trump.
Who stood on the White House lawn and confirmed that he wanted Ukraine to investigate Vice President Biden?
President Trump.
Who stood on that same lawn and said China should also investigate Vice President Biden?
President Trump.
As to anything we do not know in this investigation, who has blocked us from knowing it?
President Trump and the White House.

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21 minutes ago, -W.A.R- said:

Surely Conservatives are against this with their principled stance of free speech on college campuses :lol:

Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses

Of course not.  They only care about free speech when they agree with that speech.

Speaking of speech(es)...

https://www.vox.com/2019/12/11/21010774/trump-hershey-pennsylvania-rally

 

 

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25 minutes ago, -W.A.R- said:

Surely Conservatives are against this with their principled stance of free speech on college campuses :lol:

Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses

The big zionist Republican funders like Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer want this done, so Republicans jump right on it. Like I said, you want a Republican to do something, just pay him a bunch of money.

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1 hour ago, downzy said:

Because that wasn't your original point. 

Here's what you originally stated:

"The saddest part of all is why the Democrats weren't pushing Trump from the beginning to push for an even stronger deal than the USMCA"

A different point you were originally making.

Except Trump did it not because he understood trade policy, but because he made nonsense claims in his presidential campaign about NAFTA being the worse trade deal ever negotiated; that if he were to become President he would rip up NAFTA and craft a new deal with the top negotiators, who he knows personally.  The USMCA isn't a new deal.  It's window dressing on the same house.  There's very little difference between the two deals.  It's why he was adamant about changing the name.  This way he can say it's a whole new deal and significantly better NAFTA, which isn't really true.

This isn't to say there aren't some notable changes and that NAFTA wasn't in need of updating.  But that was never really Trump's motivation.  He made a bunch of promises in the campaign and the net result of re-negotiating NAFTA is not structural or revolutionary.  

NAFTA never touched upon digital trade since in the late 80s and early 90s when it was being negotiated digital trade was not a concern.  So that was something that needed to be addressed.

The significant changes relates to reducing tariffs.  More specifically, tariff reduction on American dairy products in Canada and Canadian peanut and nut products in the U.S.  So unless you're a dairy farmer in Canada or peanut farmer in the U.S., this change really doesn't affect you (though I suppose the price of peanuts and dairy products might see a decrease).

Finally, the other big difference between NAFTA and the USMCA relates to auto production and how much of the car must be made and assembled in North America to qualify for free-trade status (from 62.5 percent in NAFTA to 75 percent in the USMCA).  There's also some enforcement language in the new trade deal but it remains to be seen if anything really changes on that front.

For the most part there really isn't anything existentially different between the two trade deals.  It gives Democrats some minor victories on labour and environment standards in Mexico and allows Trump to claim that he negotiated and signed the best trade deal ever regardless of the similarities between the two agreements.  For Trump this has everything to do with political theatre and nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of trade between the U.S. and its neighbours. 

 

Ok, so the USMCA didn't go far enough, agreed. But as I said, there was never any fire under the collective asses of the Democrats to do anything until Trump opened the door. You can say he's a buffoon and doesn't understand anything, but he's the only one that even opened this up to renegotiation. Clinton, Bush, and Obama didn't.

So all in all, this is a minor victory for Trump. My criticism of Trump not really making any substantive long-term changes and being all bark and very little bite still hold.

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25 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

But as I said, there was never any fire under the collective asses of the Democrats to do anything until Trump opened the door. You can say he's a buffoon and doesn't understand anything, but he's the only one that even opened this up to renegotiation. Clinton, Bush, and Obama didn't.

Except he did it not because he understood trade dynamics or the risks and perils of opening up a trade deal, but for political vanity.  And you want to give him credit for that?  It's only a minor victory because the changes are minor and really don't change the overall dynamics of the original NAFTA agreement.  Yes, he Mr. Magoo'd his way through this.  

Democrats on the left have long wanted to retool NAFTA.  But there was real political and economic peril with doing so.  They weren't about to take on those risks prior for the sake of political or personal vanity.  

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Terrorist attack in jersey city yesterday. Anti-Semitic attack.  1 police officer killed and 3 people in the store killed  

Edited by Gibsonfender2323

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10 minutes ago, downzy said:

Except he did it not because he understood trade dynamics or the risks and perils of opening up a trade deal, but for political vanity.  And you want to give him credit for that?  It's only a minor victory because the changes are minor and really don't change the overall dynamics of the original NAFTA agreement.  Yes, he Mr. Magoo'd his way through this.  

Democrats on the left have long wanted to retool NAFTA.  But there was real political and economic peril with doing so.  They weren't about to take on those risks prior for the sake of political or personal vanity.  

I think it's a tricky thing to try and assign credit based on motivations in politics. The primary motivation of any politician is to get elected or reelected. Does that mean they don't deserve credit when they enact good policy? 

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6 minutes ago, Gibsonfender2323 said:

I said you're not getting your money unless You announce an investigation into Joe Biden.

Donald Trump

Fixed

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37 minutes ago, Jakey Styley said:

I think it's a tricky thing to try and assign credit based on motivations in politics. The primary motivation of any politician is to get elected or reelected. Does that mean they don't deserve credit when they enact good policy? 

I would generally agree so long as the politician genuinely has an issue or grievance with existing policy and seeks to better not only the fortunes of his or her representatives but also his or her own chances.  I don't truly believe Trump really cares about whether the new trade deal actually fixes some of the imbalances of the old trade deal.  He only cares about the marketing of it all and how it helps his own chances in the next election.  In fairness to Trump, it will likely win him Wisconsin, a state with a large dairy industry who has long sought for greater access to the Canadian dairy market.  

The USMCA doesn't change the fundamental dynamics of free trade in the U.S.  It still allows for the movement of goods (and some services) across borders that doesn't address the complaints Trump originally had about NAFTA.  

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39 minutes ago, Gibsonfender2323 said:

I said you're not getting your money unless that son of a bitch is fired. Donald Trump.

Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh wasn't him

Biden's position on the Ukrainian prosecutor was the same as stated U.S. policy supported by Obama, the U.S. State Department, many members of the House and Senate (including Republican Senators who wrote letters in support of firing the Ukrainian prosecutor for not doing enough about corruption), and many European allies.  

But yeah, Biden simply wanted to do it to protect his son for some reason....

Ugh.....

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3 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

Thanos was the greatest reducer of carbon footprints in history, we can never take that away from him.

I can’t wait for The Final Solution 2020 campaign. 

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