Many Republicans have been blasting House Democrats for failing to vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The agreement was developed after President Donald Trump trashed NAFTA. He called the North American Free Trade Agreement, a 25-year-old pact, one of the worst trade deals ever. He mandated new tariffs and issued a series of threats against two of the country’s biggest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. He demanded a new deal and sent staff to negotiate what is now known as USMCA.
Aside from modest changes for automakers, it’s pretty much NAFTA.
U.S. officials say the USMCA might increase farm exports about 1 percent, with a similar increase in ag imports, according to a piece in Successful Farming magazine.
Republicans, however, promise that the USMCA will be a great boon for farmers, and they profusely praise Trump for the new deal.
This has become a predictable pattern.
The president first creates a crisis, then assigns staff to resolve the situation. Eventually, the president declares victory, and his supporters laud him.
That script also was used as the president backtracked on his decision to undermine federal regulations on renewable fuel sources.
Under previous administrations, the U.S. government required most gasoline to contain certain levels of ethanol, which is typically made from corn or other grains.
The regulations helped create demand for farmers’ crops. But Trump approved waivers for more than 80 refineries, and, along with other factors, the waivers depressed grain prices and drove ethanol plants out of business.
Under pressure from farm-state politicians, the White House announced in October it was devising a new plan for renewable fuel regulations.
Republican politicians praised the president. Rep. Ron Estes, of Wichita, for example, used Twitter to call the announcement “another big win for Kansas farmers thanks to President Trump.”
Never mind that the president created the problem.
The pattern is evident too in how the White House spins the China trade war. Every few months, the president announces a partial deal or a near-deal. Republicans respond with grateful tributes — as if they don’t know the trade war was manufactured by the president.
Sadly, this gimmick was even used to try to mask the nation’s recent betrayal of a Mideast ally.
For decades, the United States had worked to keep the peace between two of its allies, Turkey and the Kurds. Both have been important partners of U.S. military efforts in the region. But in October, Trump gave Turkey the go-ahead to invade Syria to kill Kurdish soldiers and civilians.
"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," the White House statement read. "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”
Even many Trump supporters were stunned. They insisted that the nation stand by its Kurdish allies.
We did not. After Turkey had mostly accomplished its mission, it agreed to a temporary cease fire, brokered by officials Trump sent to try to clean up the mess.
When the cease fire was announced, Trump told reporters, “It’s a great day for the United States, it’s a great day for Turkey … a great day for the Kurds, it’s a great day for civilization.”
Forgive us if we don’t join the president’s loyal supporters in cheering such achievements.
A native of Garden City, Julie Doll is a former journalist who has worked at newspapers across Kansas.