Trump Strikes Trade Deal With Mexico



Chalk up another victory for the blue collar billionaire:

US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a new US-Mexico trade deal on Monday, completing a major step toward the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

The deal is the result of five weeks of intense one-on-one talks between the Trump administration and Mexican officials.

It’s not final, since Canada is still involved in the NAFTA process, but Trump said the US and Mexico could move forward with a bilateral agreement if the Canadians drive a hard bargain.

Here’s a rundown of the major changes in the agreement. It would:

  • Require that for a car to move between the US and Mexico without being subject to tariffs, 75% of the car must originate in a NAFTA country. This would be up from the current 62.5%.
  • Establish that 40% to 45% of a car or truck’s content must be made by workers earning more than $16 an hour. This is a push that could help the US retain more auto work. US auto unions have been fighting for such a change for some time.
  • Strengthen rules of origin for “chemicals, steel-intensive products, glass, and optical fiber” goods. Similar to autos, this would strengthen the requirements for goods to move across the US-Mexican border tariff-free.
  • Toughen rules for textile supply chains to push countries toward producing more apparel domestically.
  • Strengthen enforcement mechanisms for intellectual property violations and protect intellectual property. For instance, the deal would set the minimum for copyright protections at 75 years.
  • Establish a zero-tariff level for digital content such as e-books and software, as well as strengthen distributor and consumer protections for digital goods.
  • Mexico would raise its de minimis shipment value level to $100 from the current $50. (A de minimis shipment value is the threshold at which a business has to pay duties on goods moving across the border and are subject to more stringent security checks.) Small US businesses or persons shipping goods worth $100 or less to Mexico would not be subject to tariffs and would face simpler customs checks.

Go here to read the rest.  Not coincidentally the stock market reached a record high yesterday.  Go here to read all about it.  For an unsophisticated loud mouth boob, as his critics portray him, Trump is showing himself to be an excellent steward of the economy, possibly the best since Reagan.  Well played, Mr. President, well played.


Catholic-Islam Dialogue: Reciprocity the Key

For the past few years I have been taking my Catholic school students over to the nearby Mosque, as part of their World Religions research. It has gone well, everyone is on their best behavior, and it gives the students a chance to hear about Islam from devout Muslims, in their own place of worship. I also have visited the Mosque and Islamic community during the time of my run for public office to speak and dialogue about issues where we would find some common ground. It has all been a very positive experience, but there is one large elephant in the room that must be paid attention to.

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