Oct 9, 2019

Key labor leader says rushing NAFTA replacement would be "colossal mistake"

Richard Trumka at a rally. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka urged House Democrats not to expedite the approval of a new North American trade deal in the coming weeks, telling the Washington Post in an interview: “If there was a vote before Thanksgiving, the agreement would be defeated."

Why it matters: Trumka has the backing of the 12.5 million member AFL-CIO federation, giving him significant influence on the thinking of House Democrats as they continue to negotiate the Trump-backed United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

The state of play: House Democrats have been negotiating the USMCA trade deal with the Trump administration for months, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans are pushing for a vote as soon as Thanksgiving.

  • In particular, Democrats are seeking assurances from Mexico that the government will enforce fair labor standards to ensure that U.S. companies don't outsource manufacturing south of the border, which could deal a blow to blue-collar jobs, per the Post.
  • Democratic leaders are also considering whether it would be worth giving Trump a major legislative win at the same time they are engaged in an impeachment inquiry and a 2020 election campaign against the president.

Go deeper: The trade deal that might survive impeachment

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.