Killing NAFTA



Bloomberg has a short Trump-whisperer item on the President's supposed impatience with negotiations to "update" the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump’s Impatience Emerging as Biggest Threat to Nafta Agreement

Some of you may have read the earlier report in which he instructs General Kelly that he "wants tariffs" ... while his weepy loser staff won't bring him tariffs.

That report could be 100% shit, and since said tariffs were to be imposed on China, not perhaps pertinent. The Bloomberg story could be shit too, yet the President has been clear since the campaign that NAFTA is the shittiest deal the USA has ever signed.

The upshot of the story is his purported wish to withdraw from the trade deal. That kind of talk gets Canadians antsy, since these are among the biggest trade flows on the planet, somewhere around the trillion dollar mark. Or so the could-be-lying bean counters tell us.

Whither NAFTA and the USA-Canada relationship? I don't believe Trump wants to punish Canada as much as he does Mexico, but in the end, why not? Why not punish Canada for fucking you guys over?

This is a boring topic, trade between the two giant geographies, and my belief that compromise will occur may turn out to be falsified. 


[Trump's] threats to blow up the talks could figure prominently.

Since the first round of discussions wrapped up Aug. 20, Trump has threatened to withdraw from Nafta four times -- during speeches in Arizona and Missouri, in a Twitter post and at a news conference with the Finnish president. While Mexican officials have dismissed the comments as a scare tactic that could also be aimed at energizing Trump’s anti-trade supporters, the threats are a reminder of the significant leverage that a president holds to scuttle the $1.2 trillion trading area. A party can withdraw with six months’ notice.


Trump’s tone contrasts with the generally polite and constructive atmosphere among negotiators in the early stages, according to two people taking part in the private discussions who asked not to be identified. Still, the mood could change quickly when officials start moving from exchanging proposals to bridging differences. On a personal level, many of the negotiators have known each other for years and brokered deals in the past, the two people said.

Is Bloomberg under the giant umbrella FallSnooze?

Zzzzzzzzzz ...


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NAFTA and Trump, again. Zzzzzzzzz, except for Canadians, Mexicans, or American dairy cows. From the elitiest of the elitists ... the Wall Street Journal editorial board sounding more like PRfor Rick Wilson's film project, "Everything Trump Touches Dies."  But still.

This is the nice part.


Trump’s Nafta Threat

[...] Mr. Trump’s obsession with undoing Nafta threatens the economy he has so far managed rather well. The roaring stock market, rising GDP and tight job market are signs that deregulation and the promise of tax reform are restoring business and consumer confidence. Blowing up Nafta would blow up all that too. It could be the worst economic mistake by a U.S. President since Richard Nixon trashed Bretton-Woods and imposed wage and price controls.

U.S. demands in the Nafta renegotiations—which returned to Washington last week—are growing more bizarre.[...]


It noted that 14 million American jobs rely on North American daily trade of more than $3.3 billion. “The U.S. last year recorded a trade surplus of $11.9 billion with its NAFTA partners when manufactured goods and services are combined,” the letter said. “Among the biggest beneficiaries of this commerce are America’s small and medium-sized businesses, 125,000 of which sell their goods and services to Mexico and Canada.”


Luckily, America rarely makes executive mistakes, so all should be well during of the Trump presidency. 

Meanwhile, in a place far, far away:




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Details of the NAFTA negotiations are somewhat hard to come by, as these are mostly secret or at least under a semi-confidential diplomatic bell. That doesn't stop information leaking out, but it seems that information is spun and spun hard, depending on whose ox is being gored.

-- one semi-complicated item stood out in all the spin and storms of political posturing, the concept of "preferential tariffs."  How I understand it is that NAFTA imposed rules on the three nations to give each other a break on the trade of certain goods. So, Mexico or the USA, say, both impose tariffs of 6% on a range of goods coming from off-shore, but both impose a lesser tariff on North American partners.

The aim of the agreements was to reduce tariffs between the three Amigos ...  if the current administration 'wins' in the three-way NAFTA negotiations underway, then tariffs will be negotiated down further for the preferred partners.

Win, win, win.  

In the meantime, though, trade war of escalating tit and tat upping the ante.

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On 7/12/2018 at 10:05 AM, william.scherk said:

In the meantime, though, trade war of escalating tit and tat upping the ante.

Soy Boys of the World (in Illinois and Iowa) Unite!  Big Daddy is gonna help ...

... sources say. Or rather the Depth of Agg is said to say.

Meanwhile, President All-Caps:


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On 7/24/2018 at 12:31 PM, william.scherk said:
On 7/12/2018 at 10:05 AM, william.scherk said:

In the meantime, though, trade war of escalating tit and tat upping the ante.

Soy Boys of the World (in Illinois and Iowa) Unite!  Big Daddy is gonna help ...

Soy Men are fully on board with Trump tariffs, according to a Newsweek item ...


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Who said, "Our long national nightmare is over"?

Doesn't matter. What matters is that Mexico and the USA seem to have solved some mutual trade problems, at least to the degree that the President feels able to crow a little bit:

So ... now that the two nations have come to agreeable conclusions bilaterally, it is time for the Canadians to resume their participation in NAFTA upgrade negotiations.

For those who want to see what the Faye Knuze is roistering about on this topic, a boring list of links:



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On 9/29/2018 at 2:57 PM, william.scherk said:

It better not be called NAFTA ...

It's fun to sign onto the US.M.C.A
It's fun to sign onto the US.M.C.A
You can cross-border shop, you can buy some cheap cheese
You can do whatever you please

Edited by william.scherk
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Bloomberg, of all places, has about nine stories on Do Not Call It NAFTA ...  including Globalists Will Love Trump’s New Nafta Deal | Despite the fanfare, the agreement doesn’t change much.



By David Fickling
October 1, 2018, 12:32 AM PDT

For the group of people meant to be enemies of President Donald Trump’s trade agenda, the revised North American trade deal reached shortly before the stroke of midnight Sunday looks pretty good.

Despite the new name (the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA) dropping any references to trade, let alone freedom, the tariff rates on imports from Canada and Mexico are still a mass of zeroes. The main new element — the abolition of a variety of milk Canada introduced last year to support its domestic dairy industry — is ultimately an anti-protectionist move. The main old element is some fiddling around Nafta’s rules on automotive trade which, as we’ve argued previously, aren’t likely to change much.

That suggests an emerging playbook for the Trump administration’s trade agreements. As with the revised U.S.-South Korea deal announced last week, the achievement is declared to be historic while the changes made are cosmetic. That dynamic bodes rather well for the U.S.-Japan bilateral talks announced last week, not to mention the simmering trade war with China. For the globalists so often bashed in Trump-era rhetoric — and this columnist would count himself among them — that’s good news.

Consider the agreement on dairy. The milk variety that Canada has agreed to discontinue — known as Class 7 milk — has been in existence for barely 18 months, and its opponents include not just U.S. trade negotiators but also Saputo Inc., one of Canada’s largest processors.

More to the point, milk products comprise an almost infinitesimal share of the trade relationship between the two countries, accounting for about $364 million, or 0.06 percent, of each-way flows. Peat, pasta, polystyrene, paper and prefabricated buildings all account for a greater value of U.S. imports than Canada’s entire dairy industry, and it’s a similar picture in the opposite direction.


Take that, Globerists!

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4 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

[Quoting Bloomberg headline]: Despite the fanfare, the agreement doesn’t change much.


It only changes the money.

A lot.

But no worries. That's merely a minor detail for a trade agreement if you are a member of the press.



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I like thinking grandly, mythically if that is a thing, tracing a mental spark across the continents over centuries, rises and falls of this and that, 'power' and 'people' in a kind of cognitive imagery that is often wordless. I guess a flight of fancy or day-dream or free-association or what have you. Probably the vast majority of people can have symbolic imaginings, conceptual renderings in the mind's eye -- that may or may not make sounds, but which can be felt, without words providing narration or even signposting.

The first bit of fiction I was proud of was handed in to the Grade Eleven English teacher as part of requirements. She was a kindly if stern soul most times, and when she handed it back with a B or less, I was chagrined. She explained that I had talent but that I should write about things I "knew about."

My awful short story was about an island nation that solved a crisis via good urban planning and transportation engineering. I think there was a love interest and perhaps only six actual exchanges of dialogue to, er, advance the plot.  Awful.  I had had a wonderful thrilling mytho-symbolic plan in mind and about 3 percent was on the page.


After the years of lyric writing, I realized I liked a thing you might call fairy-tale tragedies.  The awfulness of the fiction I attempted had one awful theme-in-praxis: happy endings after preposterous, unconvincing plot lurches.

I wrote scripts for local comedy Cable TV, but had partners, so we each hacked away each other's awful ideas leaving merely bad. Our best one was Foster Mom. This was a person who adopted war criminals and their families and kept them on short leashes. "Don't anger Mother" she said as she pulled the small pearl-handled automatic from her purse at the checkout.

(lyrics brought me some praise, since the awfulness of theme-praxis was perfect for Los Popularos. Operatic emotion, Doom, possibility of averting Doom, plus Love) 

I wrote The Adventures of Deirdre Marr. She was an investigator trying to find out why punk rock culture was being suppressed. It turned out it was a plot involving the Moral Police. We had about fifty actors from the local scene, hams all. Awful. Except for the nun and Braineater cameo.

I wrote Birth at the PUSH, a silent Super-8 movie. A public use service hospital. Filmed on location at a grungy arts/culture hub of the arnachy-arty-faggy-punky-fashiony mob of locals.  It was gory and fun and quite you guessed it.

I wrote several scenarios or treatments and one screenplay. The most awful was about an ex-showgirl colony in Chasm, BC.  I sent that away and it came back with NO. Surprise surprise.

So, when did I finally realize how awful my theme-praxis was and try not to shame myself further in fiction?  Later.

Later in life, shall we say.  I came to realize that I loved Huge Themes and Tragedy and Cognitive Challenge, and that my talents served best in non-fiction. Every once in a while since I got to the internet circa 1990  someone would pop up and say 'yer a goood writer' and I'd perk up and go do nine hours of research all for an operatically-toned Usenet post. Got a few more fans, started to think it would be a better venue.

So conservative is my theme-praxis still that when I contemplate a 'new' fiction project, I fall immediately into the first available rut. A wet Russian rut, needless to say, nine feet deep mud.

Anyway, I like to think of NAFTA in operatic ways, as myth.  I remember the sort of spell-binding spectacle of persuasion that Mulroney and Reagan camps provided, amid a general high hoopla.  This was a 'right-wing' desire, to integrate conglomerates, to finally fix the fucking Auto-Pact, but it was played as a romance. Nancy and Mila, Brian and Ron, dancing the night away in celebration after our two nations took a huge stride toward freeing trade from left-wing protectionism. "Irish Eyes Are Smiling," I kid you not.

When the Conservatives were swept out of office, the left-wing government Liberals treated the Free Trade Agreement as a done deal, like a treaty, like a constitutional constraint, and by so doing turned themselves into a fiscally-conservative regime and over a decade returned to a surplus.

Centaur1.jpg This NAFTA repainting is an interesting one to sell. I mean, it is already sold, but now there is the opportunity to praise it and condemn and maybe a bit of in-between.

If a popular President cinches a 'good deal for everybody' -- if he sells it as such -- then I think at least 50% of the goodness will rub off on him and his reputation, as a business-friendly reformer, a good man to 'preside' over the sprawling risk-assessment operations of your monstrous government.

I'll go further than 50%.  I think Trump took this issue and killed it dead as a weapon against him.  It's like taking out a sniper's nest, a little bit of violent simile, but hey.  The other side is disarmed.

It is 100% in Canada's interest to praise Mr Trump and the 'hard work of the teams of blah blah blah' and give him the whole field. I mean, none of our Crown employees and operatives have to go lobby, greet, meet, speak, punditize, place stories in friendly newspapers in agricultural states, go to all the automotive meetups, the soy lobby, the corn people, the manufacturers. They can all get back to Ottawa and resume driving our economy into the ditch.

So, 100% relieved, 100% ready to give Trump 100% credit, 100% behind a Canadian government that gives Love to the President.  

"What will the section 19-c(4) dairy outrage mean to Quebec's election, since all the parties howled at the Liberals in Ottawa for 'abandoning Quebec,' howl howl Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Blooming leftist maniacs of Bloomberg (or,  Trade vignettes, stats from such as Virginia. Facts with a slight left ballast? as shown by my Chrome addon**?


This Map Shows Why Trump Couldn't Kill Nafta
The uncertainty around the Canada deal has hurt relationships years in the making.

By Joe Nocera



How did Canada become such a vital part of the state’s economy? What does Virginia sell to Canada? And how much did Nafta have to do with it? To give away the punch line: Nafta had a lot to do with it.

A little context is in order. In the scheme of things, $5 billion worth of trade — $3 billion in exports, and $2 billion in imports — is not a large number given Virginia’s $508 billion gross domestic product. But it’s a big chunk of the state’s international trade, amounting to just about one-fifth of the state’s total exports. Trade with Canada is responsible for about 281,000 Virginia jobs. Some 200 Canadian companies have offices or factories in Virginia; the people they employ — and the things they make — matter to the state even if they don’t show up in the trade statistics.

The case against Nafta by labor (and President Donald Trump) is that it drove American manufacturing jobs to Mexico, where worker costs are significantly lower. And, in fact, during the first few years after it was signed in 1993, that’s largely what happened in Virginia. Textiles, auto parts and other manufacturers, mainly in southwest Virginia, closed their doors. Some went to China — especially the textile industry, which was in decline well before Nafta — but others went to Mexico. “There was short-term pain,” says Don Beyer, a two-term Democratic congressman who represents the Northern Virginia cities of Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church.

At the same time, though, the state’s companies began to find advantages in Nafta; by 2003, a decade after the trade pact went into effect, Virginia had seen its exports to Canada and Mexico more than double, from $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion. Since the early 1980s, for instance, Volvo had built heavy-duty trucks in Dublin, Virginia. Because labor is a smaller percentage of costs for trucks than it is for cars, there was no need for Volvo to move its truck operation to Mexico.

On the contrary: Because Nafta had largely eliminated tariffs among the three countries, Volvo could consolidate its North American truck manufacturing in Virginia, where the trucks could easily be exported to Canada. Today, the plant employs 3,200 people, and its trucks have 14 percent of the Canadian market. Trucks and tractors generate $280 million in export revenue for Virginia; most of that is due to the Volvo plant.

Nafta made it easier for Virginia paper and forest products companies to compete with one of Canada’s most important industries: timber. Virginia now exports more than $400 million worth of such products to Canada (and imports another $200 million or so). The same was true of other industries like aluminum, steel alloys, and heating and refrigeration equipment.

According to Paul Grossman, the vice-president of international trade for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the state had several other advantages that helped the trade relationship. Transporting something from Virginia to eastern Canada — or vice versa — was just a straight shot up Interstate 95. Virginia’s proximity to Washington meant that Canadian companies who set up shop in the state had easy access to trade officials at the Canadian Embassy. Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state, which foreign companies generally find appealing. Plus the language is the same (except in Quebec, of course), as are the cultural and business norms.

Here’s another important factor; Virginia didn’t just let trade happen to it. At least since the financial crisis of 2008, it has aggressively sought out trade deals with Canada and many other nations. This has been especially true since 2014, when Terry McAuliffe became the state’s governor. As he told me the other day, Virginia was hurting when he entered office because federal budget cuts had caused the state’s big defense contractors to eliminate thousands of jobs. Trade, he realized, was a means to bring the economy back.

“I went on 35 trade missions in four years,” he said. “I ate chicken paws in China — but we got the Chinese to lift the poultry ban so Virginia can export chickens to China.” He would take Virginia businesspeople with him, introduce them to potential buyers, and then watch them cut deals.

“I went to Canada every year,” McAuliffe said. “We got craft beer in there, and wine, and oysters.” [...]

NB -- the article above is under the Opinion rubric. Did I just wreck it for ya? **


Left-Center Bias

These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias.  They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes.  These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation.  

Bloomberg News

Factual reporting: HIGH

More info on MBFC

[Lost a couple of run-on sentences about how my awful fiction became good love dirges, songs of doom, tragic love marches, etc]

Edited by william.scherk
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7 hours ago, william.scherk said:


It's fun to sign onto the US.M.C.A
It's fun to sign onto the US.M.C.A
You can cross-border shop, you can buy some cheap cheese
You can do whatever you please

Make Canada Great Again!!

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7 hours ago, william.scherk said:

The awfulness of the fiction I attempted had one awful theme-in-praxis: happy endings after preposterous, unconvincing plot lurches.


I urge you, like yesterday, to think about the story triangle.

On 1/31/2015 at 10:04 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

... a relationship of meaning called a "story triangle," but this applies to all art.

The image below shows it pretty clearly:


The arrows stand for relationship. Where there is relationship, there can be fundamental aesthetic meaning. The deeper the relationship, the deeper the meaning and alignments.

In other words, in a story (or any work of art), there is:

1. The relationship between the storyteller and the story.

2. The relationship between the audience and the story.

3. The relationship between the storyteller and the audience.

Each of these have their own reality and principles.

I got that off the Internet somewhere, but I learned about it from an Appalachian storyteller, Elizabeth Ellis, who wrote a book with Loren Niemi called Inviting the Wolf In. Also, I took The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals by Hannah B. Harvey from The Great Courses. Harvey mentioned the story triangle, too.

I did a different version of my own for fiction writers for a course I am making. (I'm going the route of drawing up a course in order to teach myself. :) )


Six relationships.

The problem with most authors is that they have a relationship with their story, but don't even reflect on the relationship of their story to them, much less the other four relationships.

For example, you mentioned how awful you have been in creating fiction. You gave several examples. Did it ever occur to you to ask why this would be important to the reader? After all, if you don't have a reader, who will read your stuff? So thinking about your relationship (both ways) to the audience is a good thing to do.

Believe it or not, there are reasons why a story with examples of your incompetence would be important. The main one is the emotion it makes readers feel. For example, if you were using these examples for comedy and jazzed them up for comic effect, the reader could laugh. Readers like to laugh. If you were presenting a struggle with a payoff, the reader could root for you. Readers like to root for underdogs. If you were showing how each awful attempt was like a lash of a whip on a raw soul that is slowly losing its mind, the reader could feel concern and empathy. Readers like to feel concern and empathy.

I could go on.

And if you you wanted to include information or agendas or whatever you wish in the middle and did not cut the triangle, this stuff would transmit to an interested person.

But you just presented your awful attempts as if to say, "Look at that dumpster over there. It has worthless garbage in it." And the entire meaning of your statement is to point to worthless garbage and say it is your worthless garbage.

Why should the reader care?

Even if you stay true to pattern and attach a happy ending to it? 

The happy ending would be for you and only you, not for the reader to feel anything.

There is no relationship to your reader in your comment.

Please understand, I'm not bashing you. I'm pointing to a lesson that took me years to learn.

It's like the Bloomberg article in your post. NAFTA is a relationship like a marriage. That author apparently never heard of the word, divorce, and sounded just like a man explaining to his miserable wife (the one who is getting ready to leave him, but he doesn't believe it) that their marriage could never end because of yada yada yada--while all of his examples are irrelevant to the lady.

Anyway, food for thought. Partake if you wish. If not, no problem.

I, for me, find this story triangle to be a powerful tool.


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Trump's Mexico-Canada deal hits trouble in Congress



Liberals and conservatives alike are raising objections that could imperil the president's signature trade agreement.


11/18/2018 06:43 AM EST


Democrats, whose votes Trump needs to pass the deal in the House, say they want to see stronger protections against pollution and climate change, improved labor standards in Mexico and certainty that the U.S. will regain jobs lost to Mexico. And they want assurances the deal can be enforced.

Meanwhile, a group of 40 Republicans is protesting new protections for LGBT workers that Canada insisted on, potentially imperiling some GOP support.

If he’s blocked in Congress, Trump will be facing a major setback on an issue where he’s already been claiming credit for delivering on a campaign promise. He would be left with the unattractive choices of leaving the North American Free Trade Agreement in place, heading back to the negotiating table, or pulling out of the deal entirely, as he’s repeatedly threatened.

And it’s unclear whether the White House can make fixes that will placate enough lawmakers to win approval. The Trump administration plans to sign the pact at the end of November, leaving the president with less than two weeks to persuade Mexico and Canada to agree to any tweaks. After that, Trump could pursue changes through side deals or the legislation to implement the agreement. But both those options would be more difficult and could be a tough sell for Canada and Mexico. [...]



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The eternal triangle, Mexico, Canada, America ...

On 10/1/2018 at 11:08 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


I urge you, like yesterday, to think about the story triangle.

Have you written a story that could show, rather than tell?

In the meantime ...

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

Have you written a story that could show, rather than tell?



I'm just talking out my ass.

I don't have a fucking clue about this.



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