Our Opinion: One thing in mind

The key question being raised over President Donald Trump’s agreement with Mexican officials on a new trade pact points straight to the reason why so many Americans are unhappy with the current system of regulating trade between our country and others.

Trump said this week Mexican officials are willing to go along with a new trade agreement between our nations. If implemented, it would supplant existing U.S.-Mexico arrangements under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Just one catch: NAFTA is a three-nation treaty. Canada is the third participant. Trump has invited trade talks with that country, but it appears little success has been achieved.

News of the proposed new U.S.-Mexico deal sent Canadian officials scurrying to protect their country’s interests, however. It is possible their concern could result in a new, three-way trade arrangement to replace NAFTA.

But what if it does not? Can Canada, as a NAFTA signatory, kill any new understanding between the United States and Mexico?

Whether NAFTA’s wording makes that possible remains to be seen. If it does, NAFTA is a bad deal out of which the United States should get as quickly as possible. Why should one nation be able to dictate to two others how they will handle trade between themselves?

For too long, U.S. agreements with other countries seemed calculated to placate those nations’ leaders, rather than to benefit Americans.

It is time for that attitude to be abandoned and replaced by a philosophy of trade agreements negotiated with only one thing in mind: Is it good for Americans?


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