Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday December 11, 2019
NAFTA, Impeachment: A Donald Trump doubleheader
“I want you to do us a favour,” said Donald Trump, and Nancy Pelosi complied on Tuesday, finally releasing the parking brake from a revised North American Free Trade Agreement and giving the president a glut of gloat-able, quotable material to use on the re-election trail about what an Artful Dealer he is.
Announcement of the replacement for what Trump often has called “the worst trade deal in the history of the world” came on the same morning of the same day that the same Madame Speaker – using the word “solemn” twice in her first sentence – announced the two specific, alleged “high crimes” for which the president will be tried and quickly acquitted by his cowed Republican allies in the U.S. Senate next month.
During any other presidency, such a contradiction would be considered dizzily discombobulating, but this is Trump. Adding to the vertigo, the president capped this bestest awfulest day by gaggling in the Oval Office with Sergei Victorovich Lavrov, the amiable foreign minister of Russia, which got America into this mess in the first place.
Known to the White House as the “US-Mexico-Canada Agreement” and the most significant legislative achievement of Trump’s presidency since his trillion-dollar tax cuts of Christmas, 2017, the tri-national treaty will impact the continent’s factories and farms long after Trump has passed from the scene, be it by a hostile Senate vote or defeat at the totally-rigged ballot boxes. Most of its last-second amendments relate to the enforcement of labour standards in Mexican factories.
“It could be perishable,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday morning, explaining why she chose to move USMCA at the same hour that she has been labelling the president “a clear and present danger” to the survival of the republic.
That it was the “deranged Democrats” who actually forged the final rewrite of the new-NAFTA, colluding with union groups to get the Mexican government to agree to a quid pro quo of freer trade in exchange for higher wages and tighter environmental and enforcement causes, is unlikely to be a feature of Trump’s stump speech between now and November. The only clause that he is likely to invoke is himself as Santa, once again squeezing his bulk down the national chimney with jobs, jobs, jobs.
Meanwhile, the president blithely romped along the rim of constitutional death Tuesday, tweeting that his life-long nemesis, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler “just said that I ‘pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Election.’ Ridiculous, and he knows that is not true. Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there ‘WAS NO PRESSURE.’ Nadler and the Dems know this, but refuse to acknowledge!”
Trump then flew to swing-state Pennsylvania for a rally with the deplored. (MacLean’s)