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Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal announce the USMCA compromise. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Fed chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the new U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada should remove some trade policy uncertainty, and that it's a positive factor for the economy.

Yes, but: However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups have been registering their unhappiness with the trade deal in recent days.

Why it matters: For most of the year, groups have been universally calling on Congress to pass the agreement. Now that the deal is near the finish line, it's facing mounting opposition.

What they're saying: "We are seriously disappointed by the removal of certain intellectual property provisions," Thomas J. Donohue, the Chamber's CEO, said in a statement. He specifically pointed to reduced protections for prescription drugs.

  • "USMCA is a step back from NAFTA and will yield limited economic gains," said Daniel Griswold, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The agreement will raise "prices for US families in the market for a new car or light truck, while reducing sales and exports of the domestic US auto industry."
  • The left-leaning think tank EPI said the revised deal "constitutes Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.