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President Trump’s reelection campaign is taking a victory lap with the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal this week and using it against his prospective opponent.

The pact, which supersedes the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump has long opposed, is seen as a fulfillment of the president’s campaign promise to renegotiate “bad trade deals.

” The Trump team is highlighting presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s 1993 vote for NAFTA as a senator from Delaware and tucking the new deal into its pitch for the president as a U.S. job creator.

“President Trump promised to put America First and get rid of Biden’s job-killing NAFTA. He kept his promise,” said the Trump campaign’s Abigail Marone. “When Biden voted for NAFTA, he said Americans’ concerns about losing their jobs were ‘vastly overblown,’ but just like with everything else in his life, he was wrong.” Team Trump has cited a study that found NAFTA “displaced” 850,000 jobs in the United States.

“Thanks to the bold leadership of President Trump, the agreement will mean stronger economic growth, more jobs for American workers, and fairer trade for our country,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a statement. “President Trump has delivered for American manufacturers, farmers, businesses, and workers.”

The trade deal is a rare bipartisan victory during has been shaping up to be a tough summer for Trump. The general manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative hailed its implementation as a “cause for celebration.” The head of the Retail Industry Leaders Association said that the USMCA “strengthens two of our most important trading relationships and creates certainty for retailers to invest, plan for the future, create jobs, and provide consumers with the widest possible selection of affordable and quality products.”

Critics have called the USMCA a mild, protectionist revision of NAFTA. “For the first time in American history, we're enacting a trade agreement that restricts free trade and reduces economic growth,” protested Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican. “Unlike its predecessor NAFTA, USMCA contains many protectionist provisions that are designed to reduce the exchange of goods between the United States and Mexico.” Toomey called it an “antitrade agreement” in a late 2019 Wall Street Journal op-ed, lambasting its tariff increases.

Yet the USMCA easily passed in the Senate 89 to 10, with Toomey the only Republican who voted against it and the only senator who opposed the agreement on free trade grounds. Sen. Bernie Sanders, with whom Trump has cited common ground on trade, also voted against it, as did three other Democrats who unsuccessfully sought the party’s presidential nomination. It passed the House late last year 385 to 41.

NAFTA was originally negotiated by George H.W. Bush, but Bill Clinton led the charge for its congressional approval. While it passed with bipartisan support, a left-right coalition sprang up in opposition the agreement that included populists Ross Perot, who warned of a “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving the country if it were passed, and Pat Buchanan — both of whom are considered Trump's ideological forerunners.

Trump made NAFTA a major part of his case against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, calling it the worst trade deal ever negotiated. He also opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and promised tariffs on China until Beijing opened its markets to more U.S. goods. Trade negotiations with China are have not been finalized.

These populist economic nationalist stances were a departure from recent Republican orthodoxy on trade that helped him break through in the Rust Belt, winning states that hadn’t voted Republican at the presidential level since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

The Trump campaign hopes for a reprise against Biden. To coincide with the USMCA taking effect, it debuted “Killing Jobs — the Biden Record on Trade.” The document highlights Biden’s support for expanded trade with China as well as NAFTA. The Trump rapid response team sent around a clip of the former vice president saying he was not an “expert on international trade matters,” adding that “Biden’s track record for supporting terrible trade policy is extensive.” The Republican National Committee unveiled a new digital ad promoting Trump and the USMCA, which the administration is claiming could create anywhere from 176,000 to 600,000 new jobs.

As Trump has celebrated the USMCA, he has also pointed to figures showing that the economy added 4.8 million jobs in June. Most polls continue to show that pluralities prefer Trump, a longtime businessman, to deal with the economy, even as he falls behind Biden nationally and in key battleground states.

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Meadows: Im not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term on coronavirus package

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Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Im sorry but its a fantasy, on reopening schools safely

From Tampa (pictured here) to Tempe, the situation is the same.


‘I’m sorry, but it’s a fantasy’

Jeff Gregorich, superintendent, on trying to reopen his schools safely We got back two of those tests already — both positive. We’re still waiting on eight more. That makes 11 percent of my staff that’s gotten covid, and we haven’t had a single student in our buildings since March. Part of our facility is closed down for decontamination, but we don’t have anyone left to decontaminate it unless I want to put on my hazmat suit and go in there. We’ve seen the impacts of this virus on our maintenance department, on transportation, on food service, on faculty. It’s like this district is shutting down case by case. I don’t understand how anyone could expect us to reopen the building this month in a way that feels safe. It’s like they’re telling us: “Okay. Summer’s over. It’s been long enough. Time to get back to normal.” But since when has this virus operated on our schedule? x

The largest school district in Georgia reported today that 260 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in quarantine because of possible exposure as they prepare for the new school year.

— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) August 3, 2020


School closures in spring linked to drastic decrease in Covid-19 cases and deaths

Now, a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that closing all of a state’s schools was associated with a drastic decrease in both Covid-19 cases and deaths. And the point at which officials made that call mattered: Those states that adopted the policy while few people were testing positive saw a correlated flatter curve of cases.

“It’s a nice study. It’s clear that coincident with closing down schools, the numbers improved,” said Helen Boucher, chief of the division of geographic medicine and infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Center, who wasn’t involved in the research. But she noted that we have to be careful about drawing overly broad conclusions from a single sliver of a sweeping shutdown strategy: “School closing didn’t happen in a vacuum.


This quote: "What they did was deliberately set up the teachers, staff, and parents to fail. It’s one of the most careless, incompetent, and heartless actions I’ve ever seen.”

— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) August 2, 2020


House Dems need to subordinate everything to Post Office rescue and vote protection.

— xpostfactoid (@xpostfactoid) August 2, 2020

Will Sommer/Daily Beast:

Why Is The Right So Obsessed With Hydroxychloroquine?


The unproven drug touted by Trump and his allies is a miracle remedy for more than just COVID-19.

For the vast majority of Trump supporters, of course, the drug represents the possibility that COVID-19 can be successfully treated and the deaths stopped. But there’s also a political benefit: portraying hydroxychloroquine as a forbidden cure allows pro-Trump media to blame anyone but Trump for the coronavirus disaster. In this telling, COVID-19 could have been cured months ago with hydroxychloroquine, if only the Democrats, the media, and Dr. Anthony Fauci would have listened to Trump!


Growing body of research suggests that indoor spaces with poor ventilation or lack of new air can raise the risk of the virus' spread, according to infectious disease aerobiologist.

— ABC News (@ABC) August 1, 2020

Dave A Hopkins/Honest graft:

A Few Thoughts on the 2020 Democratic Veepstakes

4. Of all the "veepstakes" episodes in my memory, this one has been the least dominated by speculation about who might deliver a particular battleground state or key voting bloc to the national ticket and the most dominated by discussions about who might be the best vice president once the election is over. This is probably due in large part to Biden's steady lead in the polls—a rare luxury for a non-incumbent—but it is still a positive development. Whatever one might think about the way Harris or any of the other candidates have been treated, it is much better for the parties and the entire political system if leaders focus on the running mate as a potential governing partner and political successor, not as a mere tool of campaign strategy.


“How can you say let’s have trickle down when people are hungry?” Speaker Pelosi says of Republicans and coronavirus relief. “Why are you quibbling over $600 when people need that to buy food, pay the rent, and again — inject money into the economy?”

— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 2, 2020


How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon, the online conspiracy movement identified by the FBI as a violent threat

Outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, Kayleigh McEnany raised a microphone to a mega-fan and asked what it felt like to be acknowledged by President Trump at his February rally in Sin City.

At the time a spokeswoman for Trump’s reelection campaign, McEnany nodded as the supporter said the shout-out was most meaningful because of the words on the shirt he was wearing, which he read aloud: “Where we go one, we go all,” the motto of QAnon conspiracy theorists who believe Trump is battling a cabal of deep-state saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex.

McEnany, who has since become the White House press secretary, continued, asking the supporter, “If you could say one thing to the president, what would you say?”

“Who is Q?” he replied, inquiring about the mysterious online figure behind the baseless theory. McEnany smiled and said, “Okay, well, I will pass all of this along.”


It’s august, & i’m more afraid of whats going to happen over the coming months than at anytime since i saw the first covid report on dec 31.

in feb, i thought the failure to act was slowness. in april, i thought it was incompetence. i dont know how to process that it was malice.

— Ellie Murray (@EpiEllie) August 2, 2020

Isaac Chotiner/New Yorker:

Trump’s Dangerous Attempt to Create a Federal Police

To discuss some of these questions, I spoke by phone with Carrie Cordero, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a CNN contributor, who specializes in homeland-security law. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed the history of sending federal forces to states and cities, the shaky legal basis for Trump’s actions, and how the creation of D.H.S. gave the President vast new powers.


“Early release of an unvetted vaccine could lead to a public health fiasco similar to the October 1976 release of a hurried swine flu vaccine ahead of the election, which...spurred the anti-vaccine movement.“ via @dvergano @kadiagoba

— Virginia Hughes (@virginiahughes) August 2, 2020


Trump’s campaign in crisis as aides attempt August reset before time runs out

With the president unable to hold traditional rallies and his central economic message no longer relevant, campaign officials are scrambling to assemble a fresh case for his candidacy on the fly.

After a six-day pause in advertising, new ads targeting Democratic rival Joe Biden are set to begin airing Monday, according to campaign officials who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. It’s the latest in a long-running attempt to define the former vice president in the eyes of voters before they cast their ballots.

But Trump himself is perhaps the greatest impediment to any successful campaign pivot, as the president has rejected calls from Republican allies and lawmakers to project a steady hand during what is shaping up to be another lost summer of self-inflicted setbacks.


Trump's failures are real, and they are spectacular

— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) August 1, 2020

NY Times:

Alienated by Trump, Suburban Voters Sour on G.O.P. in Battle for the House

A self-described independent, Ms. Vaughn, 41, had supported Representative Ann Wagner, her Republican congresswoman, in past years, but more recently soured on her. This year, given her frustration and anger with Mr. Trump, Ms. Vaughn is confident she will not vote for Ms. Wagner and is wrestling with whether she in good conscience can vote again for any of the local Republicans down the ballot whom she would normally back.

“That is an issue that we’ve had my entire life and we still haven’t solved,” she said of the systemic racism that drove recent protests around the country, much as it did in 2014 in nearby Ferguson, Mo. “It’s just going to get swept under the rug again unless we do something significant at the polls in November.”


House Dems need to subordinate everything to Post Office rescue and vote protection.

— xpostfactoid (@xpostfactoid) August 2, 2020


President Trump Trails Joe Biden As Law And Order Pitch Falls Flat: IBD/TIPP Poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 7-point lead over President Trump, the August IBD/TIPP Poll finds. Trump is facing broad rejection by independent voters on everything from his handling of the coronavirus and economy to his law and order message that aims to win back suburban voters.


National GE:

Biden/Rice 47% (+7)
Trump/Pence 40%

Biden/Abrams 47% (+7)
Trump/Pence 40%

Biden/Warren 47% (+6)
Trump/Pence 41%

Biden/Harris 47% (+6)
Trump/Pence 41%

Biden/Baldwin 46% (+6)
Trump/Pence 40%

Biden/Demings 46% (+6)
Trump/Pence 40%@MorningConsult/@politico 7/24-26

— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) July 29, 2020

h/t Chitown Kev for finding the above tweet.


‘Hating Joe Biden doesn’t juice up their base’: Key swing state slips away from Trump ⁦@hollyotterbein⁩

— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) August 2, 2020


from @stuartpstevens

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) August 2, 2020


A smaller Trumpy House minority will be a useless entity except for watching the infighting

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) August 3, 2020

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