Nov 30, 2018

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

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Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi on Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.