Nov 30, 2018

3. North American leaders sign revamped USMCA trade deal

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed onto USMCA — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a revamped version of NAFTA — at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Friday.

The big picture: The deal still has to be approved by Congress, which is far from guaranteed, as well as the Canadian and Mexican legislatures. And even though USMCA only contains modest changes from NAFTA, Trump still views the deal as a major win after promising on the campaign trail to get rid of the "single worst trade deal ever approved."

  • CBC News reports that Canada is calling the deal CUSMA, or the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement, "in all its own documents, and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland still occasionally calls it 'the new NAFTA.'"
  • At the signing, Trudeau once again urged Trump to get rid of the aluminum and steel tariffs the White House imposed earlier this year, which have remained in place despite the new trade agreement.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, per CBS' Mark Knoller, that USMCA is "a critical step in modernizing and rebalancing North American trade."

Go deeper: Breaking down the rapid NAFTA rebrand

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.