On Wednesday, the news broke that the Trump Administration was allegedly considering withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement as a whole.
That was, apparently, all a bluff. Thus, yet again, it’s been proven that flashiness has more value in this current presidential administration then actual substance.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted the following:
‘I received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate. I agreed subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are good-deal very possible!’
Besides these Thursday morning tweets from Trump, there’s also the fact that a number of individuals noted shortly after the news first broke about Trump’s intent to withdraw from NAFTA that there was basically no way that it could be anything other than a bluff.
As Max Fisher of the New York Times noted on Twitter on Wednesday, “An EO to withdraw from NAFTA would be more meaningful than Trump sending a tweet, but not by an awful lot, is my understanding.”
After all, NAFTA isn’t just something that Trump can rip up whenever he pleases. There are certain timelines that the deal itself lays out for such goals.
As Fisher eventually added, “[Y]ou don’t have to make splashy bluffs when you lead the most powerful country in the world. its fine. just come out and say what you want.”
What then is the reason for the leak of information from the White House that suggested that Trump was going to try and withdraw from NAFTA all at once? What’s the point of the show?
Trump himself has certainly leaked information to the media before when it’s benefited his purposes.
It’s even been suggested that Trump or someone working at Trump’s personal urging is the one who leaked his tax returns to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently. After all, although Maddow’s content was billed as a “leak of Trump’s tax returns,” all it really was was a couple of sheets from over ten years ago that paint Trump in a positive light.
No matter what the source is for the initial information about the EO, it’s certainly long been a key part of Trump’s strategy to be, quite simply, as flashy as possible. This “strategy” is again being put on display in Trump’s approach to NAFTA.