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Opinion

Letter: Follow the money

To the editor:

NAFTA is on the table. On July 16, the Trump administration disclosed its plans to the public. Trump didn’t want to. Trump had to disclose his “key negotiating points.”

Trump was vague. He did the bare minimum to comply.

Trump the candidate - remember him? - hated the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and really hated NAFTA. That Trump did, in fact, pull us out of the TPP. But now, fast forward six months later. Trump is not dumping NAFTA. On the contrary, Trump is doubling down on the trade deal he once called “the worst deal ever.”

Trump was vague because he does not want us to know whose interests he will represent at NAFTA. Trump says he wants to reduce trade imbalance. Fact is, American companies abroad created that imbalance. Cancel NAFTA, and the imbalance will disappear.

To balance trade, Trumpe canceled NAFTA as he did the TPP. That would force American companies to come back home or pay profit-killing tariffs for their goods from abroad.

Given July 16's “disclosures,” what can we expect from NAFTA 2.0?

For Trump, the environment is a non-issue.

Expect no environmental protections.

Expect nothing for workers.  

If Trump had plans to benefit workers, he would have disclosed them July 16.

Bottom line?

There will be some trade imbalance restrictions - window dressing with no real enforcement teeth to it. To that facade, add from the TPP what is missing in NAFTA, and you get NAFTA 2.0: corporate welfare on steroids.

Will our congressman, Adam Kinzinger, stand up to Trump? Will Kinzinger protect our jobs and health here in Illinois, or will he toe the corporate line? If you want to know, follow the money.

The money trail - a long line of parties elbowing their way to the front to stake a claim. Upfront, you will find the corporations: ag, pharma, the Koch Brothers, the usual suspects. This core constituency will get their prized corporate protectionism, a license to kill. Then, the politicians, Ryan and McConnell at the lead with Kinzinger close behind.

Dead last, but extremely well publicized for “how well they came out in the deal,” a token of some sort, for the American worker.  Nothing will be left by then for the environment.

Your health and your prosperity will suffer because our representative in Washington did nothing.

Leonardo Legorreta

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