On Friday, President Donald Trump made it clear where his priorities lay when he told reporters that securing the border "is more important to me than USMCA," the trilateral free trade agreement Trump negotiated to replace NAFTA.
But according to Politico, this announcement puts Vice President Mike Pence in an awkward position: he was just hours away from beginning a cross-country tour to promote how important USMCA is:
The tour, which targets states that will be crucial to the president's reelection bid, would begin in Pence's home state of Indiana at Lamb Farms Inc., a family-run business producing a trio of crops — corn, wheat and soybeans — that have been swept up in Trump's trade wars.
It seems that even Trump doesn't have a great deal of faith in his signature trade accomplishment, which may not be surprising — it's essentially just NAFTA with some window dressing. That being said, Trump's lack of interest in his own trade deal may not be great for its prospects, seeing as it still needs congressional approval to be enacted.
Trump, who just visited the border town of Calexico, California to tout the upgrading of an existing border wall, has spent much of this week threatening to either close the border with Mexico entirely or slap gigantic tariffs on its imports, to force the nation to spend more resources on policing the border.