This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 30, 2017:
Poker Rule No. 65 is “Don’t Show Your Hand:”
The problem with showing cards when you have them is that people then assume that the next time you don’t show them you don’t have them. And when you want them to think you have them the next time you feel obligated to show your hand again. If you start showing people your cards all the time, they are going to figure out the way you play long before you figure out the way they play.
If one player is Donald Trump, you don’t allow the media to see your hand either, especially since they will do everything in their power to expose his hand, disrupt the game and make Trump look like a fool.
The flurry of tweets last week taught Trump that lesson.
Following issuance of his executive order to start building the wall along the US’ southern border, Trump tweeted: “The U.S. has a $60 billion trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers … of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
Mexican Pena Nieto called Trump’s bluff: “We have informed the White House that I will not attend the working meeting planned for next Tuesday with @POTUS. Mexico reiterates its willingness to work with the United States to reach agreements that favor both nations.”
The liberal Washington Post called it a “deep rift,” while former Mexico foreign minister Jorge Castaneda called it a “crisis” that is “going to last a long time.”
It lasted one day. Friday morning Trump and Nieto spoke on the phone for an hour. It was scheduled for 10 minutes. As a White House spokesman noted: “A 10-minute call doesn’t become an hour-long call if it’s not going well.”
Later that day, Trump, during his joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, said his conversation with Nieto was “very, very friendly,” adding that “I think we have a very good relationship, the president and I … we are going to be working on a fair relationship and a good relationship.”
The joint communiqué issued following the call between Trump and Nieto made it clear that next time negotiations will be private. A White House official put it this way: “The attitude was ‘Let’s figure out how to get it [the wall] done. You know my [Trump’s] position on this.’ It doesn’t help to negotiate this in public.” Another official said the Tuesday meeting will be rescheduled in the very future.
The spark that lit the tinder was the EO which ordered federal agencies to start construction of the wall along the country’s southern border. It was necessary not only to fulfill one of President Trump’s primary campaign promises, but, also, noted the order, because “Aliens who illegally enter the United States without inspection or admission present a significant threat to national security and public safety.”
The order called it a “clear and present danger” (referring to the rationale used by the Supreme Court in 1919 in its unanimous decision in Schenck v. United States):
Among those who illegally enter are those who seek to harm Americans through acts of terror or criminal conduct. Continued illegal immigration presents a clear and present danger to the interests of the United States.
Accordingly, “It is the policy of the executive branch to … secure the southern border of the Unites States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border….”
The question remains: who will pay for it? Trump has several high value cards in his hand. Last year, the two countries generated $530 billion in trade, up from $130 billion in 1994. There are terrorists entering Mexico from central and south America, moving armaments through Mexico on the way to America. There are drug cartels generating, according to ICE, between $19 and $29 billion in drug sales in the United States annually. There’s another $26 billion in “remittances” that Mexicans working in the US are sending to the families back home every year. There is the latent threat of a border tax or an import tax. There’s $750 million in foreign aid that the US government is already sending to Mexico.
Trump has a handful of others as well.
The wall will be built. It will not be paid for by American citizens. It will be negotiated in private. The media won’t know about it until it’s completed.
Trump has learned Rule No. 65.
MarketWatch.com: Trump calls U.S.-Mexico trade one-sided — and here’s the reality
The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Agrees Not to Talk Publicly About Mexico Paying for Border Wall
The White House: EO: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements