The issue:

President Trump has called NAFTA "the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country" and tweeted that it's "been a one-sided deal from the beginning."

The facts:

The North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994 and allowed for the free exchange of goods between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The removal of trade barriers led to a tripling of trade, but also a sharp in increase in the trade deficit. Here's a graph of the U.S. deficit with Mexico:

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
Why it matters:

Trump has vowed to renegotiate NAFTA to give U.S. workers a better deal. Eliminating NAFTA would mean more expensive goods for American consumers, and maybe more domestic manufacturing jobs. But the trade deficit is a lousy measure for any of this. More exports means more American jobs. You'd rather have $10 worth of exports and $15 worth of imports than $8 of both and no trade deficit. If higher imports are the product of unfair trade practices, and those products could be reasonably made here, shrinking the trade deficit makes sense, but not if shrinking the trade deficit comes at the expense of export growth.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.