Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Trump Going to Mexico is not the Real Irony, NAFTA Is

Many were shocked by Donald Trump’s trip to Mexico. That misses the real ironies here: NAFTA — and how this should be a boon to the Green Party.

First the obvious stuff: Donald Trump is playing to xenophobic sentiments. His “solutions” are in large part twisted or beside the point, for example, U.S. government has largely already built the wall.

One real irony is that Trump is appealing for votes based on trade issues. His criticism of NAFTA rightly resonates with many in the U.S. Lots of workers have lost out because of NAFTA and other so-called “trade deals.” These deals are actually largely investment protection agreements that help the huge corporations and the wealthy in the U.S., Mexico and other countries. That’s people like Trump and people and corporations like those who fund Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, these secretive deals often rook regular folks wherever they live.

But Trump — and many other critics in the U.S. — only talks about how NAFTA has hurt U.S. workers. Largely unacknowledged in the U.S. is how it has devastated Mexican family farms and small industry — which leads to desperate migration from Mexico to the U.S. (along with the drug war).

So, redoing NAFTA would actually help stem desperate migration that is the source of much of Trump’s support.

Hillary Clinton is now claiming to be against the TPP, the successor to NAFTA in many respects. In fact, she has backed both. And she just named pro-TPP Ken Salazar to be her transition team head. Her VP pick, Tim Kaine recently backed the TPP before he pretended to flip-flop as well. Meanwhile, Trump contradicts himself on issues like mad. Who knows what he’ll do if he were actually in office.

But Clinton has largely succeeded in pretending she’s anti TPP. OnTheIssues just reports her stated positions on TPP, which you have to be an idiot to believe — or a hack. Over 40 million people have apparently taken an “issues” poll with iSideWith.com — but when I asked them if they label Clinton as opposed to the TPP the same way Jill Stein of the Green Party is, they refused to answer and deleted our exchange.

In fact, the U.S. public is strongly opposed to more of the same U.S. trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP. But the only reliable candidate on reforming trade issues is ticket of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party, but they are excluded from most discussion by corporate media, which are overwhelmingly for corporate “trade” deals. Our politics is broken on so many levels.

So: The incredible irony of this is that the best choice for the xenophobes is Green (the Libertarian Party of Gary Johnson and  Bill Weld is openly pro-TPP).

Certainly, Greens and other progressives usually talk against NAFTA and the TPP in terms of corporate control over health, labor, environmental, patent, copyright and other critical issue areas. But ending the NAFTA model may well end desperate migration, a leading concern of many on the right.

Let Mexicans prosper in Mexico. If the U.S. were to have reasonable agreements with Mexico, people there will work in farms and factories in Mexico without feeling desperate to come to the U.S. for any work they can possibly get here. They are free human beings, not charity cases.

We have a similar dynamic regarding xenophobia directed against Syria refugees now. Let Syrians be a peace in Syria without outside meddling — the root causes of the war in Syria and much of the Mideast is constant outside intervention, most clearly the U.S. invasion of neighboring Iraq.

Let each — Mexico, Syria and every other country — deal with the U.S. as equals. People should not be in need of coming and begging for refuge or to do work at poverty wages in the shadows in the U.S.

If we change the root causes of policies, things look very different and people who might be motivated, superficially at least, by different arguments end up having much more in common than meets the eye in terms of desperately needed policy changes.

More articles by:

Sam Husseini is founder of the website VotePact.org

October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail