Mexico Learns How to Play Trump's "Let's Make a Deal" Game


What happens when everyone reads the same book? Answer: They all do the same things.

Reuters reports Mexico Wants Steel Dispute Ended Before New NAFTA Signed.

> Mexico wants to end to a tariff dispute over steel and aluminum with the United States prior to signing off on a reworked trade agreement with its northern neighbor, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday.

Sound familiar?

It should.

Trump bragged about deals with the EU that only existed in Trump's head. When the EU actually agreed to Trump's proposal to end all tariffs on cars, Trump said it was not enough.

When Trump bragged about a deal with Mexico, I asked "What deal?"

It turns out there is no deal. Within hours of the announcement, Mexico insisted that Canada be part of the deal or it would need to rework the deal.

Canada has demands.

And now Mexico has more demands.

Game Book

The way the game is played today is to make a deal, then make new demands while still pretending there is a deal.

Don't blame Canada or Mexico.

They both read the "Art of the Deal". More importantly, both Canada and Mexico are doing to Trump, what Trump did to them.


We can call this whatever we want, but no one is winning from this nonsense.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (16)
No. 1-5

I thought trade wars are good, and easy to win?


Good! Each party to a negotiation has its own aims, and through a process of give & take, they end up with a deal. The problem the US has had is that the Swamp Creatures -- whose arrogance is matched only by their stupidity -- thought that the process was the US gives, and everyone else takes. That is a large part of why we have ended up with an unsustainable trade deficit -- which needs to be fixed.

Mish does a good job of pointing out the unsustainable pension fund deficits in Illinois and beyond. Those deficits will end in tears. Huge unsustainable trade deficits are the same -- if we don't fix them soon, they too will end in tears, not just for the US but for all the exporters too.

And remember this is the real world. Look at World War II -- the Brits got their asses kicked at Dunkirk; the US got its ass kicked at Pearl Harbor; the Soviets really got their asses kicked almost all the way back to Moscow. There will always be setbacks along the way to an eventual successful outcome.


US govt. spent over 2 trillion dollars overseas to establish anarchy throughout the middle east and Afganistan. With this spending we obtained no new resources or security or even improvement in humanitarian conditions. This money is still floating around outside the US. It will be difficult to balance trade, even with punishing tariffs, when the government is wasting such vast sums far exceeding what even the most competitive US producers can manage.


Trump is STUPID unless Trump demands that as a condition to a trade deal with Mexico they agree to STOP all migrants going through Mexico from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and other countries to USA and either send them back home or take their asylum application in Mexico and give them asylum in Mexico if they assess that they are entitled to such.

Also Trump should demand that Mexico builds a wall on their southern border to STOP the drugs pouring to Mexico and then to USA. Wall on Mexico's southern border would CRUSH Mexican cartels influence and profits so Cartel violence would also drop so it is a mystery why Mexico has NOT build such a wall themselves, either they are incompetent or get funding from cartels. Wall on Mexico's southern border would also stop most migrants so it would make it easier for Mexico to stop migrants going through Mexico to USA.

Unless Mexico agrees to those two things Trump should put a 10% tax on all remittances from USA to Mexico and tell them that there is NO trade deal.

Trump should also build the promised wall on US-Mexico border and make it bigger than the Chinese wall so people would come see it as a tourist attraction "visit Trump's wall, there are sightseeing points on top of the wall and golf courses, water parks and amusement parks and luxury hotels on US side of the border, Welcome"


Everyone seems to think that Trump wants a deal. He does not. There is no deal that would be good enough for Trump to actually follow through on. Even when trading partners agree to his offers (like eliminating all tariffs) he says it isnt good enough. What Trump wants is enemies. He needs enemies so his supporters can focus their anger to blame someone else for whatever problems they have. Even if Mexico agreed to build and pay for a wall on the Mexican/US border (which is a truly stupid waste of resources), Trump would say he wanted something else as well. Its never enough because Trump is not looking for deals. He needs enemies to satisfy his Politics of Hate. I feel sorry for his trade negotiators, because they are wasting their time trying to come up with deals that he will eventually reject. In the meantime, the American consumer and businesses are going to suffer because of Trumps tariffs and endless trade wars. But thats okay. They will just get angry and hope that Trump makes all those other countries pay for the trade war that America started. And to all the posters who are stupid enough to believe that Canada and Europe have somehow taken advantage of the US, I feel sorry for you too.

Global Economics