Yesterday U.S. Trade Represenative Robert Lighthizer and Mexico’s Minister Ildefonso Guajardo met in Washington DC for a bilateral discussion. Likely one of the key avenues for Lighthizer to explore surrounded the upcoming election of a hardline Marxist in Mexico and how Guajardo views the impact to Mexican policy therein.
At this point it’s virtually guaranteed that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will win the election – I would VERY strongly bet on that outcome (likelihood 85%). That puts a Hugo Chavez type ideologue, and the attached economic policies, at our southern border. [Pro-Tip: prepare your business affairs accordingly now, and avoid the chaos later]
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland arrived in Washington DC today to join Lighthizer and Guajardo and expand the informal discussion toward a trilateral trade discussion.
Thankfully Lighthizer is on his home turf because he’s now surrounded by left-wing globalist advocates from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce via Tom Donohue.
There was some media talk, and a hint from Trump’s NEC Chairman Larry Kudlow yesterday, about the U.S. strongly wanting to have an agreement on principle utilizing the cornerstone of the Auto-Sector as a building block.
However, I cannot caution strongly enough that NEC Chairman Larry Kudlow is in love with NAFTA and POTUS Trump is not. So filter Kudlow’s optimistic glee against his trade worship with NAFTA.
Larry Kudlow and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue are BFF’s on NAFTA, and will extort maximum pressure on President Trump from congressional allies in that regard.
Do not be surprised to see Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the entire Decepticon wing of the GOPe go nuclear against Trump in the near future; while Kudlow works quietly to assist the objective. Tom Donohue has hundreds of “billions” to pass out in golden annuity parachutes for any congressperson who will destroy themselves during a suicidal charge against the Trump administration.
If they stick to their historic approach (and there’s no reason to see them changing it) U.S. CoC President Donohue will coordinate the attacks, but stay behind the curtain. This is an issue where the Republican apparatus will willingly give up massive seats in House and Senate mid-term races to retain their access to the U.S. CoC checkbook.
Within Washington DC nothing is more important than money and several hundred million for a congressional reps family makes it easy to walk away.
The only voices on the other side of this confrontation are President Trump, Wilbur Ross, Steven Mnuchin and Peter Navarro. Everyone else inside and outside the administration, along with Wall Street, the swamp (writ large), CONservative media, Fox News and K-Street, is essentially against them and supporting open-ended global trade with China and fully exploitative NAFTA.
From the timing of the meeting yesterday it was likely U.S.T.R. Lighthizer was testing to see if he could leverage the predictable Mexican election outcome into a renewed sense of urgency amid more reasonable business voices in Mexico…. no-one knows the outcome, but I doubt his success.
Globalists and multinational interests would rather have a Marxist in office in Mexico than run the risk of trade markets outside their control. There are trillions at stake.