CNN, Axios Suggest Trump Trade Tactics Working

Following the announcement of Nafta 2.0, or the United States Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), liberal news outlets CNN and Axios published articles suggesting that Trump's negotiation tactics might just be working. 

In a Tuesday article, CNN contributor David Andelman asks "What if Trump's confrontation trade stance actually works?" - which suggests that after USMCA was announced, "Trump largely got his way. And now, no one can tell him his bull-in-a China-shop way won't work.

Axios's Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen offer similar analysis in their piece entitled, "The Trump way often works." 

For a left-of-center publication like Axios to publish an acknowledgement of Trump's successes is interesting, however for the insurgent "alt-left" at CNN, even admitting that Trump's tactics might be working is quite frankly shocking - even if it's an Op-Ed. 

 Trump's unhinged-from-precedence-in-your-face negotiating style actually works.

Indeed, Sunday evening, a senior American official came right out baldly and boasted to the Wall Street Journal that the new pact was "a template for the new Trump administration playbook for future trade deals." The official might even have left off "trade." This kind of bludgeon-thy-neighbor tactics could work quite well, thank you, in dealing with most of the adversaries Trump has created or confronted in his first two years in office.

    All three countries — the US, Mexico and Canada — were characterizing it as a win-win-win. But the leading French daily Le Monde called it like they saw it: "Trump imposes on Canada a new free trade accord." -CNN

    CNN continues: 

    there is a host of other multinational agreements Trump has scuttled with the aim of redrawing them to America's advantage. And that now seems to be a not impossible dream. Europe, as well as Russia and China, is united in the desire to snatch some sort of victory out of Trump's withdrawal from two critical non-trade pacts, the COP-21 Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear pact. Now, it would seem, with the NAFTA and KORUS victories, there is even less incentive for Trump to budge a jot from his long-held and barely tenable positions.

    Axios notes that while "it drives the media, Democrats and more than half of America mad," Trump's "jam-your-opponent style can be effective." 

    Via Axios

    What he's done: He erased NAFTA, as a word, and replaced the trade pact with a different name (the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA) and better terms for America. Sure, he infuriated Canada and Justin Trudeau, but he delivered the goods. (And helped some farm-state candidates just before midterms.)

    • His tax cut, jammed through last year, continues to juice a red hot economy that has consumers confident, stocks soaring, joblessness sinking. 
    • His wild, improvisational press conferences and rallies still grab massive audiences — and drive the media conversation. 
    • And his no retreat, no surrender approach has helped Brett Kavanaugh survive brutal hearings, and put the conservative judge on the cusp of a lifetime Supreme Court seat.

    The White House says it's as simple as Trump sticking to, and delivering, what he promised — defying low expectations amid chaos and distractions.

    A veteran Democratic presidential adviser said that the Trump formula is taking a clear position and driving toward it — making sure everyone knows where he stands, and only focusing on one or two policy goals at a time.

    • The adviser pointed to the cap on deductibility of state and local taxes — included in Trump's tax-reform plan — as an enviable achievement.
    • "Presidents going back to Ronald Reagan have tried to do this," the Democrat said. "He had the determination and skill to get it done. Clinton didn't. Obama didn't."

    After his surprise NAFTA win, Trump was sunny at the White House yesterday, and preened at a rally in Tennessee last night about his dominance in news coverage:

    • "You know what it’s called? Earned media," he said. "And I earned it."

    With midterms 35 days away, there’s some evidence that Trump's recent campaign to make this election about his favorite topic — him — plus the court fight has Rs more energized than at any point this year.

    • Polling has swung sharply against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), with analysts pointing to Kavanaugh's popularity in the state as a factor.
    • Trump's message and travel have greatly strengthened Republican Senate challengers in Missouri, Montana and West Virginia.

    The last time left-wing media praised Trump was when he convinced NATO member nations to chip in their fair share.