As United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement wins ratification by Congress to replace 26-year-old NAFTA, lawmakers, lobbyists, and regulators are taking a closer look at its provisions. Agriculture was thought to be big winner with new markets opening for US producers of dairy and other products previously limited in access to foreign markets. Rueters has learned certain manufacturing interests — thanks to Trump’s immigration policies — likely will see strongest results from new deal, however.
January 19, 2020
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Peyronie’s Poster Boys
“Democracy Dies in Darkness…So Keep an Eye on the US Senate”
WASHINGTON, DC (Rueters) — US and Canadian manufacturers of power tools and all-terrain vehicles are predicted by economists to be surprise winners in the new USMCA trade agreement ratified last week by the US Senate — and they have a badly flawed immigration policy and an even worse choice in building materials to thank for it.
President Trump’s planned 2,000-mile steel fence along the US-Mexico border is about 10 percent complete, with another 270 miles to be funded this year with $7 billion from the Pentagon’s counter-narcotics and military construction budgets, Defense Department officials told Rueters.
While US and Mexican farmers and manufacturers await final ratification of the 1994 NAFTA’s replacement by the Canadian House of Commons later this month, American analysts already have come to their own conclusions about the administration’s ill-conceived mixing of immigration and trade policies.
“It’s completely fucked,” said one source inside the US Trade Representative’s Office who spoke anonymously to Rueters. “Here we thought the dairy farmers would love us for opening markets in Canada when it’s not turning out that way at all.”
That turns out to be the understatement of the week.
“We’re taking billions from our military to pay for a 2,000-mile steel fence. Well, guess what? Steel can be cut — and that’s exactly what’s happening. No sooner do we have a new section up that it begins to resemble Swiss cheese,” the source said.
“Do the math,” a source inside the Treasury Department told Rueters. “You’ve got a steel post planted every yard, so 100 posts per 100 yards, or 1760 posts per mile. And how many miles does the Orange Menace want to cover, 2,000? That’s more than three and a half million posts — all ready to be cut down.”
US Border Patrol estimates more than 100 miles of steel posts have been hacked through or taken down completely, with perhaps 100s of miles more to come. “And guess who’s profiting,” said a spokesman for the Border Patrol. “Black & Decker, Stihl, and Stanley, to name a few. Their sales are through the roof.”
“This fence is fucking great for business,” said a manager at a northern Mexico Home Depot. “With no more tariffs in the new trade agreement, we expect to triple profits in just one year. So who’s paying for the fence? Hell, we would have if we knew we could sell a half-million hack saws.”
A spokesman for a power-tools industry group, when asked about destruction of Trump’s fence, said only, “Illegal immigration is not our responsibility. We only want people to have the right tool for the job.”
Power saw manufacturers aren’t the only surprise winners from construction of the all-steel barrier.
Said Border Patrol spokesman Chuck Berry, “Canadian ATV’s are flooding the Mexican market. And guess where they’re headed? Right for the US. We can’t stop the manufacturing; we can’t stop the sales; and we can’t catch the damn things once they break through.”
A spokesman for BRP, Inc., a large Canadian ATV maker and retailer, said orders from Mexico promised to hit a record in 2020. “With openings in the (US-Mexico) steel border fence plentiful and multiplying everyday, we expect at least a tripling of sales, perhaps a four-fold increase. No tariffs and plenty of space to hide in the desert, no wonder Mexicans want out.”