Things That Matter

Trump Scores A Major Victory As The Senate Passes His USMCA Trade Deal, But What Does The Deal Mean For Workers?

Mitch McConnell himself has referred to this year’s Senate as a legislative graveyard where bills from the House go to die. He’s literally called himself the legislative grim reaper. Very little law has been formed during the last Congress and the United States can thank the Senate Majority Leader for this lack of progress.

And with all of Washington’s attention on Trump’s impeachment trial (which is finally underway in the Senate), few had much better expectations when it came to the legislative calendar. However, late last week, the Senate passed Trump’s renegotiated trade agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico – referred to as the USMCA (formerly NAFTA).

Surprisingly, the deal also passed with nearly unanimaous support in both the House and the Senate – a rare act of bipartisanship. But what does it mean for the United States? And, perhaps more importantly, what does it mean to the workers the deal will impact most?

Last week, the Senate passed Trump’s renegotiated version of NAFTA – now called the USMCA.

Credit: Unsplash

The revised NAFTA agreement received a rare bipartisan vote of support on Thursday, with a vote of 89-10 in support of the agreement. The deal also received a similar bipartisan vote in the House last month. With the Senate’s approval, the deal now goes to Trump’s desk for a final signs are which is really just a formality since it already has his seal of approval. With the deal’s passage, Trump lands a huge victory on a key campaign promise just as lawmakers are preparing his impeachment trial.

A statement by the White House press secretary called the measure “another trade win for American workers,” replacing “the job-killing, huge failure NAFTA.” 

“USMCA, which the President successfully negotiated over a year ago, rebalances trade between the three countries and will lead to significant economic and job growth in the United States,” the statement said.

USMCA makes several tweaks to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994.

Credit: National Archives

The USMCA is meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, negotiated in the 1990s by President George H.W. Bush and pushed through Congress by President Bill Clinton.

Trump and Democrats alike argued that the earlier deal, which opened more free trade across the three countries, damaged American workers by encouraging companies to move jobs out of the U.S. USMCA gives American producers better access to Canadian dairy markets. It creates stricter rules for auto part rules of origin, and requires at least 40% of the parts for a car to be produced in plants where workers make at least $16 an hour. Other changes include updating digital trade and copyright rules.

The tweaks to labor enforcement mechanisms got House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the massive union federation AFL-CIO on board. Trade skeptics in the Senate such as Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) backed USMCA. Brown voted against NAFTA as a House member.

However, several major unions and environmental groups still oppose the agreement.

Credit: Unsplash

Sen. Bernie Sanders voted against the agreement because he said it did not do enough to address climate change and protect jobs.

“In my view, we need to re-write this trade agreement to stop the outsourcing of American jobs, to combat climate change, to protect the environment, and stop the destructive race to the bottom,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

And he isn’t alone. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also opposed USMCA on climate grounds. In a statement Thursday, he said that “on the greatest issue facing our planet, addressing the climate crisis, the USMCA falls far too short.”

Their stance separates them from the rest of the Democrats who are runnin for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN), and Michael Bennet, (D-CO), all voted to pass USMCA on Thursday.

It’s not a done deal yet – the agreement still needs Canada’s signature.

Credit: Pablo Martinez / Getty

In June 2019, Mexico became the first country to ratify the deal. Now that both the House and Senate have passed the bill, all that’s missing on the US side is President Trump’s signature – which is all but guaranteed. Only thing missing is Canada’s ratification but that’s also seen as little more than a formality.

Speaking to reporters ahead of parliament’s return on Monday, Trudeau said Canada would immediately move forward on ratifying the trilateral trade pact, known as USMCA, with the United States and Mexico.

“Passing the new NAFTA in parliament is our priority,” Trudeau said while flanked by members of his cabinet following a three-day retreat. He noted millions of Canadians depend on stable, reliable trade. 

Canada is the last country to ratify the revamp of the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that includes tougher rules on labor and automotive content. The deal cannot take effect until it has been ratified by all three member nations.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexican Twitter Reacts To The Trump And AMLO Meeting And The Results Are The Level Of Petty I Aim To Be

Things That Matter

Mexican Twitter Reacts To The Trump And AMLO Meeting And The Results Are The Level Of Petty I Aim To Be

Win McNamee / Getty Images

During the week, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) flew to the United States – in coach, we might add – to meet with Donald Trump.

From the very beginning, many Mexicans were outraged at the thought of their elected president flying to meet with a man who has repeatedly demonized their country and people – we don’t have to look too far back to when Trump denigrated Mexican migrants and threatened its southern ally with crippling tariffs.

With this visit, many feared that AMLO would continue acting as Trump’s lapdog as he has in so many other instances – from border security to migration enforcer – and it appears that many of their fears unfortunately came true.

Mexico’s AMLO flew to meet Trump in his first trip outside of Mexico since becoming president.

Trump welcomed Mexico’s AMLO calling him a cherished partner and claiming that the two countries’ economic and security ties were reaching new heights. Sorry, but what world is this?! These warm words were a stark contrast to the days when he called Mexicans “rapists” and railed against migrants entering the US illegally.

But AMLO returned the favor, saying that it was good to find common ground and avoid throwing insults.

“As in the best times of our political relations, during my term as president of Mexico, instead of insults towards me and more importantly against my country, we have received from you understanding and respect,” AMLO said.

The official reason for the AMLO-Trump summit was to celebrate the signing of the recently renegotiated US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA), which was formerly known as NAFTA. The agreement officially went into effect on July 1, 2020. However, the two also discussed how to jointly combat the Coronavirus pandemic, which has raged across both countries as other parts of the world get it under control.

AMLO actually thanked Trump for being “so kind” to Mexico – this just sent Mexican Twitter into overdrive.

After the meeting on Wednesday, President AMLO lauded Donald Trump in Spanish for showing “respect” to Mexico and “not treating us like a colony”.

And in one of the first videos to begin making its round, was this quintessential Trump moment – where he shows such little respect for the Mexican President.

Reactions to the trip reflected Mexico’s own political polarization. A pre-trip poll published by the newspaper El Financiero showed 59% support for travelling to Washington, though 85% of Mexicans disapproved of Trump.

AMLO remains relatively popular – despite polls showing worries over his handling of issues like crime, the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mexican Twitter didn’t disappoint with the memes – memorializing AMLO’s trip forever.

AMLO is known as being an austere man and he’s tried repeatedly to sell the Mexican presidential aircraft. So, just as he does when traveling across Mexico, AMLO flew commercial to Washington – amid a global pandemic no less. This was too good an opportunity for Twitter to pass up.

Many had been anticipating the memes for weeks.

Some pointed out they were just as excited for the memes as President AMLO probably was to be in Washington, taking in the sights and visiting the White House. But it’s worth pointing out, that AMLO has been to D.C. in the past – just not as his country’s president.

Many were concerned about AMLO’s visa application to make it into the U.S.

Given the Trump Administration’s inhumane and harsh immigration policies, some Mexicans wondered if their president would even be allowed to visit Trump. The Trump Administration has basically eliminated or severely limited every legal route to migration that there is.

Some saw something in AMLO’s eyes that they wanted for their own partner…

Some thought that AMLO may have been looking a little too enamored with a man who has repeatedly demonized his country and fellow paisanos. But in that look, they also saw something they wanted in their potential partners: “Hermanos, stay with someone who looks at you like AMLO looks at Trump.”

Some thought that once again AMLO was being far too subservient to Trump.

Some doctored up images of past visits to the White House to really drive home the point that AMLO has been doing much of Trump’s dirty work in Mexico. From deploying armed soldiers to enforce U.S. immigration law at the country’s border with Guatemala to placing refugees and migrants in detention centers, AMLO has been a key part of Trump’s plan to halt immigration.

Others shared images of the gifts that AMLO brought Trump.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these t-shirts – I have several. I mean we all have that tía who goes on vacation and brings them back to us, right?

Given the stark differences between the two leaders, this meme is a bit far-fetched.

AMLO is a far-left ‘man of the people’ and Donald Trump is a far-right ‘man of the people,’ or at least that’s how they view themselves in their minds. Both leaders follow populist agendas but do so from very different points of view.

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America’s Favorite Imported Beer From Mexico Facing Troubled Stock Market

Culture

America’s Favorite Imported Beer From Mexico Facing Troubled Stock Market

scottfeldstein / flickr

No matter where you come from, everyone loves a good beer.

And this is why my tíos are still single.

Posted by We are mitú on Monday, October 31, 2016

CREDIT: WE ARE MITU / FACEBOOK

Let’s be honest though, some get too much pleasure from it. We all have that drunkle.

Since the election, however, stock in Corona — America’s favorite Mexican beer import — has taken a nose dive faster than, well, this…

CREDIT: F / YOUTUBE

Five second rule doesn’t apply here. Or does it…

In one day of trading, Constellation Brands, Corona’s parent company, saw its shares drop from $166 to $153.

CREDIT: JUANCHO / YOUTUBE

That’s about an 8 percent decline for a company that also owns Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico.

The decline is tied to investors’ fears in how trading between Mexico and the U.S. will play out in the coming months.

CREDIT: iamyourgrandmaandtotallynotawolf / IMGUR

If NAFTA, a deal partly spearheaded by George H. W. Bush and signed by Bill Clinton, is revoked, tariffs would inflate the cost of ingredients going to Mexico, as well as the cost of imported Corona in the U.S. — creating a dip in profits and scaring off potential investors.

However, Corona isn’t worried about their recent dip.

CREDIT: THE SIMPSONS / FOX

Rob Sands, CEO of Constellation Brand told investors, “I don’t expect [the election] to affect our business in the short term and as these policies develop, we will respond accordingly and engage with government accordingly.”

Whatever the future holds for Corona, one thing is always true: DRINK RESPONSIBLY.

CREDIT: DODGEBALL / FOX

READ: No Matter Who You Root For, This Goal Celebration Will Fire You Up

What’s your favorite Mexican import? mitú wants to know!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com