Networks Give Scant Seconds to Trump’s New NAFTA Trade ‘Win’

All three networks on Friday allowed just seconds to the new U.S., Mexico, and Canadian trade deal lobbied for by Donald Trump. CBS This Morning deemed it a “win” for the President, but only allowed 30 seconds of total time to the deal. NBC’s Today barely did better, managing 34 seconds.  ABC’s Good Morning America offered the most, a still-not-impressive 44 seconds. 

All three networks covered the signing, but only as an aside to the story that Trump would not be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell briefly noted, “This morning, he signed a new trade deal to replace the NAFTA with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.”  

CBS analyst Ian Bremmer called the plan the new NAFTA and praised, “That is a win for President Trump.” But, again, the total amounted to 30 seconds ina two hour program. 

Over on NBC’s Today, reporter Peter Alexander offered a few compliments, allowing, “President Trump had been eying this global summit as an opportunity to showcase his deal-making skills. The signing ceremony this morning. That new trade deal that replaces NAFTA.”

 

 

Good Morning America’s Jon Karl framed the NAFTA deal negatively: “As the President takes the world stage this morning here in Argentina, signing a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico and a high-stakes meeting to prevent a trade war with China, he is facing mounting troubles back home.” 

He did allow a quote from Trump insisting, "This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever." 

It’s not as though the trade deal got much coverage back on August 27 when it was announced. Then, ABC's World News skipped it completely. The CBS Evening News allowed 21 seconds. The NBC Nightly News managed 1 minute and 39 seconds. 

The Wall Street Journal described the deal: 

U.S., Mexico, and Canada took a step on Friday toward easing commercial tensions in the region, as leaders of the three countries signed a new pact overhauling and updating their quarter-century-old free-trade zone.
...

Administration officials say they have succeeded in reorienting Nafta to provide more benefits to the U.S. in a number of ways, especially with new rules governing auto production. The USMCA requires a greater portion of cars—75%, up from 62.5% under Nafta—be made in North America to qualify for tariff-free trade.

Mr. Lighthizer said that he expected the revised trade deal would mean that “we will see a lot of business move back to North America” from Asia.    

Clearly, the President’s troubles with Robert Mueller deserve time, but good economic news shouldn’t be ignored. 

Partial transcripts of some of the mentions are below: 

 

CBS This Morning
11/30/18
8:02am ET 

NORAH O’DONNELL: President Trump is holding high-stakes meeting with world leaders at the G-20 summit in Argentina. This morning, he signed a new trade deal to replace the NAFTA with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. The deal still needs congressional approval. It comes as the President deals with the Russia investigation back home. 

8:05

IAN BREMMER: We just had, of course, the signature between the Canadians, the Americans and the Mexicans of this New NAFTA, the U.S/Mexico/Canada agreement. That is a win for President Trump. 

GMA
11/30/18
7:03am ET 

JON KARL: As the President takes the world stage this morning here in Argentina, signing a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico and a high-stakes meeting to prevent a trade war with China, he is facing mounting troubles back home.

8:02am ET  

KARL: The President just signed a trade deal with the prime minister of Canada and the president of Mexico, but hanging over all of his meetings here is a new reality for the Trump presidency and that is that his longtime confidant and lawyer Michael Cohen has spent some 70 hours cooperating with the special counsel. As the President takes the world stage this morning here in Argentina, signing a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico -- 

DONALD TRUMP: This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever.     

Today
11/30/18
7:06am ET 

PETER ALEXANDER: Hey, Savannah, good morning to you. President Trump had been eying this global summit as an opportunity to showcase his deal-making skills. The signing ceremony this morning. That new trade deal that replaces NAFTA. The President alongside counterparts from Mexico and Canada, a deal that still needs to be ratified by Congress.

 

NB Daily Economy ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Peter Alexander Norah O'Donnell
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