I told you to watch out, and that things would be going further downhill after the Trump administration announced its backing of gun control measures following the Parkland shooting in February. Well, as Trump eyes unconstitutional military action in Syria, a report is out that says that he is ready to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty that he effectively killed just days into his first term in the White House.
Senator Ben Sasse claims that Trump wants to get back into the treaty in order to open up more Asian markets to agricultural exports from the US and put pressure on China, but is that really a reason for us to be involved in that treaty?
In a meeting of representatives and governors from agriculture states with President Trump, Sasse said, “He looked right at Larry Kudlow and said, ‘Larry go get it done.’”
Sasse was not alone in his assessment of Trump’s reversal on TPP.
Senators Deb Fisher (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and John Hoeven (R-ND) all confirmed that is what Trump was expressing.
That’s not all. Senator Fisher said that he was also still talking about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
While Hoeven said it was very “positive,” Roberts indicated that he was “very impressed” with Trump.
“Clearly it’s a deliberative process, and the president is a guy who likes to blue-sky a lot and entertain a lot of different ideas, but he multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier for us to join now once the TPP 11 is aligned and that we might be the 12th party to those negotiations,” Sasse said after having returned from China and admitting that they cheated on trade and stole intellectual property.
None of that is surprising as I know businessmen outside of China who have their intellectual property stolen and patented in China. Entering into an agreement with China is a really bad thing, though I understand the rhetoric of wanting free trade and open markets, but color me skeptical if I’m not as positive and impressed with this sudden shift back to TPP.
You should be wary of it too considering important reversals we’ve seen come out of this administration in recent weeks, such as the push to ban bump stocks, the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, and the threats of military action in Syria.
He then added, “The best thing the United States can do to push back against Chinese cheating now is to lead the other eleven Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law.”
It is good news that today the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate U.S. entry into TPP: https://t.co/sfzI3eyDOM pic.twitter.com/B75Bsdsm3x
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) April 12, 2018
Sasse criticized Trump’s tariffs on China.
“Tariffs first and U.S. alone action that focuses just on tariffs and steel … that’s not going to solve the real problems we have,” he said, and added that welfare checks to farmers to help them survive tariffs that have been threatened by China was a bad idea.
“They don’t want welfare payments, they want to feed the world,” Sasse said.
“The one thing that he did say that I was very impressed with, he has assigned Larry Kudlow and Bob Lighthizer the task to see if we couldn’t take another look at TPP and that’s certainly would be good news all throughout farm country,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry following the trade discussions at the White House.
In January, Trump told CNBC in an interview that he “would do TPP, if we made a much better deal than we had.”
“We had a horrible deal,” he said. “I always say this I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal — the deal was terrible. The way the deal was structured was terrible If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP.”
I suppose if there is a real deal that is fair and free, fine, but I am not holding my breath on this matter. Are you? I wonder if the better deal will look anything like that omnibus bill he signed.
We are being represented with people who talk big about cutting spending, reversing the size of government and all the things we want to hear, but when it comes down to it, they are still spending money like it’s going out of style and leaving the American taxpayer with the bill and the debt.
Time will tell what comes of this, but I wouldn’t trust that this is going to turn out so well for us.
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