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Trump to notify Congress in ‘near future’ he will terminate NAFTA and replace it with remarkably similar NAFTA ‘deal’

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he will give formal notice to the U.S. Congress in the near future to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), giving six months for lawmakers to approve a new trade deal signed on Friday.

“I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way home from Argentina.

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“Just so you understand, when I do that – if for any reason we’re unable to make a deal because of Congress then Congress will have a choice” of the new deal or returning to trade rules from before 1994 when NAFTA took effect, he said.

Trump told reporters the trade rules before NAFTA “work very well.” NAFTA allows any country to formally withdraw with six months notice.

Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a new trade agreement on Friday known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Trump’s decision to set in motion a possible end to largely free trade in North America comes amid some skepticism from Democrats about the new trade deal.

The U.S. landscape will shift significantly in January when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, after winning mid-term elections in November.

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Presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the deal as a “work in progress” that lacks worker and environment protections.

“This is not something where we have a piece of paper we can say yes or no to,” she said at a news conference on Friday, noting that Mexico had yet to pass a law on wages and working conditions.

Other Democrats, backed by unions that oppose the pact, have called for stronger enforcement provisions for new labor and environmental standards, arguing that USMCA’s state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism is too weak.

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A 2016 congressional research report said there is a debate over whether a president can withdraw from a trade deal without the consent of Congress, and there is no historical precedent for the unilateral withdrawal from an free trade deal by a president that had been approved by Congress.

The issue could ultimately be decided by the U.S. courts.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said last year that exiting NAFTA without a new deal could devastate American agriculture, cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and “be an economic, political and national-security disaster.”

The leaders of the three countries agreed on a deal in principle to replace NAFTA, which governs more than $1.2 trillion of mutual trade, after acrimonious negotiations concluded on Sept. 30.

Trump had vowed to revamp NAFTA during his 2016 presidential election campaign. He threatened to tear it up and withdraw the United States completely at times during the negotiation, which would have left trade between the three neighbors in disarray.

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The three were still bickering over the finer points of the deal just hours before officials were due to sit down and sign it.

Legislators in Canada and Mexico must still approve the pact.

Trump had forced Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the 24-year-old agreement because he said it encouraged U.S. companies to move jobs to low-wage Mexico.

U.S. objections to Canada’s protected internal market for dairy products was a major challenge facing negotiators during the talks, and Trump repeatedly demanded concessions and accused Canada of hurting U.S. farmers.

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Reporting by Roberta Rampton aboard Air Force One; writing by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Robert Birsel


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump’s attack on Sotomayor and Ginsburg backfires as people point out conservative justices’ conflicts of interest

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This Monday, President Trump attacked liberal Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader and demanded that they recuse themselves from any cases that involve him.

“‘Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump,’” Trump tweeted while citing Laura Ingraham of Fox News. “This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a ‘faker’. Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters!”

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2020 Election

If Bloomberg is so rich, why does he steal workers’ wages?

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Michael Bloomberg has been pummeled over the treatment of women at his media and data company. Yet that is not the only blemish on the employment record of Bloomberg L.P. The company also has a serious problem with wage theft.

Violation Tracker lists a total of $70 million in penalties paid by Bloomberg for wage and hour violations, putting it in 32nd place among large corporations. Yet many of the companies higher on the list – such as Walmart, FedEx, and United Parcel Service – employ far more people than the roughly 20,000 at Bloomberg.

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Tennessee Christians are replacing health insurance with ‘sharing ministries’ that require people to live Godly lives: report

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christian evangelicals raising hands in praise prayer

On Tuesday, Brett Kelman of The Tennessean wrote about a spike in the uninsured rate in Tennessee — driven in part by 31,000 Christians in the state foregoing health insurance in favor of church-backed "sharing ministries."

These ministries are pitched as alternatives to medical coverage, but they are not health insurance at all — rather, they are better described as religious crowdfunding ventures where fellow congregants may cover your medical bills. But the key word is may. According to Kelman, "these groups don't actually guarantee any payment, and if you break their rules by smoking pot or having unmarried sex, you are on your own."

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