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Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Just one day before they are scheduled to discuss U.S. infrastructure, President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying he wants Congress to first pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

Why it matters: Trump is trying to leverage the Democrats' hopes of securing a strong infrastructure plan as a way to ensure that his USMCA trade deal passes and replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Read the letter:

Go deeper: Scoop: Trump's $2 trillion spending dream

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement (not the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement).

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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