from The Daily Bell:
Nafta Was Good for the U.S. and Mexico … The North American Free Trade Agreement, Donald Trump said on Wednesday, “has been a far greater benefit to Mexico” than the U.S. Just minutes before, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, standing by Trump’s side in Mexico City, said Nafta had done both countries “a lot of good.” -Bloomberg
Why would anyone who believes in free-markets argue for the efficacy of NAFTA? There must be another reason to bring this up.
Supposedly, the justification is that Trump mentioned NAFTA as a negative and this provides the impetus for this editorial to defend NAFTA. We’ll get to a more likely reason below.
To be fair, the editorial mentions that both the Mexican President and Trump agreed the “22-year-old trade deal is long in the tooth and could be modernized.”
Trump called for improved pay and working conditions “to create better results for both countries.” And he said a “strong, prosperous and vibrant Mexico” is in the best interest of the U.S. This was progress.
The point here is that Trump may be softening his views slightly, as he may have had with immigration, suggesting that if an illegal immigrant had spent 20-30 years in the states, he or she might not have to return to Mexico.
The editorial slams Trump as an “old-fashioned mercantilist [whose] approach to trade … has populist appeal but that most economists long ago rejected.” It defends on NAFTA on numerous grounds.
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