Op-Ed

Dick Morris: Trump Raises Worker Pay More than Bernie Ever Dreamed About

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The replacement deal for NAFTA is a fantastic boon for American workers and does more to raise their pay than the socialists in America ever dreamed about.

While Bernie et. al. are running around pushing for a $15 wage, Trump has enshrined it in our trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

It marks the first time the U.S. has ever used bi-lateral or multi-lateral trade deals to force wage increases.

The new deal provides that 40 to 45 percent of auto parts sold in North America must come from factories paying their workers at least $16/hour to get free trade, tariff-free passage over our borders.

The U.S.-Canada-Mexico deal was negotiated in October of last year but had encountered obstacles in both the Senate and the House, both of which must approve the pact.

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Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa objected that the deal left steel and aluminum tariffs in effect. But Trump just lifted these barriers.

House leaders had demanded that Mexico pass tougher labor protections before they signed off on the deal. But the Mexican Congress just passed legislation to block employer efforts to corruptly influence union elections there.

The reforms include a requirement of secret ballots in both union elections and in votes to approve collective bargaining agreements.

With these changes, the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade deal’s chances in Congress are vastly improved.

The new deal also cracks down on the back door through Canada that China uses to get its cars into the United States tariff-free. Beijing routinely now ships cars to Vancouver on the Canadian Pacific Coast. There, by adding a bolt or a nut, the cars are treated as Canadian vehicles and admitted into the U.S. tariff-free under NAFTA.

The new deal blocks this end run around our tariff laws by requiring that 75 percent of the content of cars admitted tariff-free must have been made in North America (up from the current 62.5 percent).

The agreement also requires U.S. consent for any trade deal Mexico or Canada might make with China so we can make sure that Beijing is not using our neighbors as proxies to get products into our country.

The U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, found that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement estimates the deal would raise GDP by 0.35 percent and create 176,000 jobs after six years.

More importantly, by clearing the way for a trade deal within North America, Trump has cleared the decks for his trade war with China.

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Coupled with his decision to delay imposition of tariffs on EU cars, he is putting his main priority — bringing China to heel — first.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.




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