Jan 9, 2019

Grassley urges Trump to pull out of NAFTA if Democrats resist new deal

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters Wednesday that President Trump should "pull out" of NAFTA if the Democrat-controlled House doesn't support the renegotiated trade deal signed by the U.S., Mexico and Canada last November.

"I hope that they're smart enough not to let that happen."

Between the lines, via Axios' Caitlin Owens: As the new chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Grassley will be responsible for shepherding the deal through the Senate. Withdrawing from NAFTA would be seen as the ultimate way to force the Democrats' hand when it comes to approving the trade deal, but it's a risky move. If Democrats don't fold and there ends up being no trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, the result would be complete economic chaos.

Background: The revised deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), still has to be approved by Congress and the Canadian and Mexican legislatures.

  • USMCA contains modest changes from NAFTA, but Trump sees it as a major win after promising on the campaign trail to get rid of what he called the "single worst trade deal ever approved."
  • But as the New York Times notes, House Democrats aren't likely to want to "sign off on any deal that does not include significant changes that labor leaders and newly elected progressives are demanding. That could involve reopening negotiations with Mexico, although American and Mexican negotiators have both publicly ruled out that possibility."

Go deeper: Breaking down the rapid NAFTA rebrand

Go deeper

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,916,464— Total deaths: 364,357 — Total recoveries — 2,468,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,744,258 — Total deaths: 102,709 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.