The brand-new USMCA has one key attribute that’s sure to make President Donald Trump quite happy: It’s not called NAFTA.
“It’s my great honor to announce we have successfully completed negotiations on a brand new deal to terminate and replace Nafta and the Nafta trade agreements with an incredible new US, Mexico Canada Agreement called USMCA. It sort of just works. USMCA,” he said, announcing the development in the Rose Garden Monday.
We’ve only just been introduced to this new trade deal and economists the nation over are figuring out how exactly the USMCA differs from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Is it a complete rewriting or an update around the edges to bring the agreement into the digital age? That’s something you’ll hear a lot about in the coming days.
Throughout his business and political career, Trump has proven repeatedly that what something is called is of the utmost importance to him.
For instance, last week, when it was not at all clear Canada would join the deal, which was in the final stages of negotiations, Trump was asked repeatedly a very specific question about whether if he’d pull out of NAFTA if talks broke down.
He very specifically did not answer that question, instead pledging to call the trade deal something new.
Reporter:So will you pull out?
Trump:I’m not going to use the name NAFTA. I refuse to use it. I’ve seen thousands and plants and factories close. I’ve seen millions of jobs lost to auto companies that move. Mexico has 25% of our auto business now because of NAFTA. Under our deal, not going to happen any more. Hate to tell you, it’s not. We’re going to keep companies.
I told the Mexicans, we have to keep companies, but they’re getting a lot also. They’re getting other things. They’re got getting a lot of good things. Mexico made a very good deal. But with Canada, it’s very if we made a deal with Canada, which is a — you know, good chance still, but I’m not making anything near what they want to do.
Reporter:But are you going to notify Congress you’re pulling out of NAFTA?
Trump:What we’re probably going to do is call it the USMC, like the United States Marine Corps, which I love. General Kelly likes it even more. Where is General Kelly? He likes that. USMC. Which would be US, Mexico, Canada.
Earlier, he had threatened to call it the USMA if Canada didn’t do more to open its markets to US dairy farmers.
It’s a boon for Trump as a deal-maker that he was able to get the renegotiation part done without the promised termination, but the rebranding — Trump Business 101– is key.
This is not a secret about Trump.
Former President Barack Obama joked at a fundraiser over the summer that during the transition between administrations he asked Trump to rebrand Obamacare.
“I said to the incoming president, ‘Just change the name and claim that you made these wonderful changes and I would be like, “You go,”‘” he said to laughs. “Because I didn’t have pride of authorship, I just wanted people to have health care.”
Trump didn’t exactly do that — Republicans tried in vain to repeal the law. Failing that, Trump sought to sabotage it, at one point cutting off payments the government had agreed to make to insurers for covering high-cost patients. That move, which he admitted at the time would lead to difficulties in the market, also allowed him to argue that Obamacare was over.
“Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore,” he said during a Cabinet meeting in October 2017.
Months later, while most of the guts of Obamacare remained on the books, Trump was able to argue that by zeroing out the penalty Americans would have to pay for not obtaining health insurance under the law, he had essentially replaced it. That change was achieved in the tax law bill that along with the prospect of renegotiating NAFTA is a key economic accomplishment of Trump and his administration, was enough for Trump to say Obamacare was repealed.
“The individual mandate is being repealed,” he sad at an event celebrating the Republican tax bill in December. “When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is repealed.”
About that tax bill. There is plenty of reporting on Trump’s involvement in what to call it. His very serious desire was to dub it the “Cut, Cut, Cut” bill. That didn’t go over with a lot of Republican leaders who wanted it to appear like a larger tax reform effort as opposed to simply tax cuts.
Trump has repeatedly (and incorrectly) continued to call the bill the largest tax cut in history. He wants that to stick in people’s minds regardless of whether it’s true.
He’s called the news media “fake news” enough to make the term almost ubiquitous, almost like a reflex, even among Americans who respect the news media.
Troubled and threatened by the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference, he’s rebranded that, to some success, as a “witch hunt.” “Witch hunt” rolls off the tongue. Special counsel investigation does not.
He’d very much like to build a wall along the border with Mexico, although having been rebuffed by Mexico, who he used to promise would pay for it, and largely stiffed so far by Congress, which hasn’t given him the money, that process has gone slowly. The world over, most people might think of it as Trump’s wall, but he’d actually like to call it that, or at least he used to say that during the campaign.
“I want it to be so beautiful because maybe someday they’ll call it the ‘Trump Wall,'” he said in New Hampshire in 2015. “Maybe. So I have to make sure it’s beautiful, right? I’ll be very proud of that wall. If they call at this the ‘Trump Wall,’ it has to be beautiful.”
And why not, really?
His home outside the White House is in a skyscraper that bears his name in New York City. When he dines outside the White House, it’s often at the steakhouse in a hotel that bears his name. When he golfs, it’s at a course that bears his name. A good chunk of his fortune comes from simply placing his name on things.
The name-on-something strategy matters to Trump. Being able to brag about replacing NAFTA will make him very happy.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked President Donald Trump what would happen if he thought Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lied about his drinking while giving Senate testimony, denying allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Amazon is worth $1 trillion

Amazon is investigating allegations that some of its employees have offered to leak confidential information and delete negative product reviews in exchange for money.

According to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday, Amazon (AMZN) staff members are peddling internal data and other advantages that independent merchants can use to try to get higher rankings for their products in searches on the site. The practice is “particularly pronounced in China,” the article said.

An Amazon spokeswoman told CNN that the company has launched an investigation into the claims.

“We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties,” she said.

Brokers for Amazon employees in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen offered internal sales metrics and reviewer email addresses to independent sellers for payments of between $80 and $2,000, according to the Journal report. The brokers were also proposing to delete negative reviews and restore banned accounts, it said.

Is Amazon a monopoly?

Is Amazon a monopoly?

Amazon has “sophisticated systems to restrict and audit access to information,” the company spokeswoman said, adding that it would also punish sellers who break its rules.

“We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action,” she said.

The Journal reported that Amazon was investigating several incidents, including some involving employees in the United States.

The e-commerce giant has had issues with its product reviews dating back years.

In 2015, the company sued more than 1,000 people who were “misleading Amazon’s customers” by selling “fake reviews of products,” according to a complaint. That lawsuit targeted account holders on Fiverr.com, a marketplace for odd-jobs where “gigs” are sold for $5 and up.

“Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be talking about a deal,” Trump said in the Rose Garden as he touted a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.
“Just for those babies out there that keep talking about tariffs — that includes Congress, ‘oh, please don’t charge tariffs’ — without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here,” he said. “I can tell you … all of these folks would not be standing here right now.”
A number of Republicans — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — have expressed opposition to tariffs.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, reacted critically to the news that Trump was moving to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico and the European Union at the end of May, saying he did not agree with the strategy.
“I disagree with this decision,” Ryan said in a statement at the time. “There are better ways to help American workers and consumers. I intend to keep working with the president on those better options.”
CNN reached out to Ryan’s office for comment on the President’s remarks Monday.
Last month, Ryan reiterated his opposition to tariffs at a question-and-answer event, but repeatedly backed the strategy of getting better agreements with allies, then rallying the developed world to go after China.
“I tell people to just hold on, to be patient and bear with the fact there is a plan and a strategy with a landing point,” he said when asked what he tells farmers in Wisconsin concerned about tariffs.
At the Economic Club of Washington in July, Ryan said that tariffs “risk a decline in American influence.”
“We have to continue to pursue new agreements while we strengthen our existing ones,” Ryan said. “We risk having jobs being moved overseas and we risk a decline in American influence. All of this matters. As our generals will tell you, these agreements are just as important for our national security as they are for our economy.”
He added the Trump administration is “right” to be vocal about trade abuses, but that new tariffs aren’t the answer.
“This administration has been vocal about trade abuses taking place and they are right to be,” he said. “They do take place. There are unquestionably bad actors, most notably China, but I’ve made my view clear, new tariffs are not the solution.”
In a statement released on Monday, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri stated that he hopes there will be “quick action” by the Trump administration to get rid of “steel and aluminum tariffs with Canada and Mexico.”
“Congratulations to President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the USMCA trade agreement,” Blunt said in his statement, referring to the agreement, which has been dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
“I hope this leads to quick action by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on eliminating steel and aluminum tariffs with Canada and Mexico,” he added.
“I’m not a drinker. I can honestly say I never had a beer in my life. It’s one of my only good traits,” he said to laughter in the Rose Garden, responding to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
“I never had a glass of alcohol. I never had alcohol, for whatever reason,” he added. “Can you imagine if I had? What a mess I would be. I would be the world’s worst. I never drank, OK?”
Trump decries 'trauma' done to Kavanaugh, calls for 'comprehensive' investigation

Collins had asked if Trump would have concerns about Kavanaugh if he lied about his drinking habits in testimony before the Senate.
“I watched him. I was surprised at how vocal he was about he fact that he likes beer … This is not a man that said that he was perfect with respect to alcohol,” Trump said.
About a year ago, Trump opened up about the struggle his older brother, Fred Trump Jr., had with alcohol, during an anti-drug event.
Fred Trump Jr. struggled with alcoholism for much of his life and died in 1981 at age 43.
“I had a brother, Fred. Great guy, best-looking guy, best personality, much better than mine,” Trump said at the time. “But he had a problem. He had a problem with alcohol, and he would tell me, ‘Don’t drink. Don’t drink.’ He was substantially older, and I listened to him and I respected (him).”
Ever since his brother’s warning, Trump said, he has abstained from drinking and smoking because he had “somebody that guided me” in that aspect of life.
“I learned because of Fred,” Trump said. “I learned.”

President Trump said Monday it’s “too early to talk” with China on a new trade agreement, despite ongoing discussions carried out over the last several months by his Treasury Secretary.

“China wants to talk very badly. And I said, frankly, it’s too early to talk,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “Can’t talk now because they’re not ready. Because they have been ripping us for so many years, it doesn’t happen that quickly.”

What this is all about: Trump’s remarks came after imposition of new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The tariffs stalled ongoing talks led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who had been expected to meet with Chinese negotiators in Washington last month before the meetings were scrapped.

“If politically people force it too quickly, you’re not going to make the right deal for our workers and for our country,” Trump said. “But China wants to talk. We want to talk to them. We want them to help us with North Korea. We want them to continue to help us with North Korea. That’s very important.”

A short-handed Supreme Court will take the bench again on Monday to gavel in a term that has been totally eclipsed by the raging battle over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.

Back in July when President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Kavanaugh to take the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a move that would cement a conservative majority for decades to come, Republicans hoped that Kavanaugh would be seated for the start of the new term.

That all changed when Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh vehemently denies. Now Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which seemed certain a few weeks ago, has been thrown into question.

So for the second time in recent years, Chief Justice John Roberts will find himself having to navigate the docket with only eight justices.

That means he will proceed gingerly, perhaps delaying some pending petitions to hear cases, examining existing cases to see if more narrow avenues of agreement are available and hoping that some cases currently in the lower courts on divisive issues continue to percolate below before reaching the high court.

All the while, the justices know that even if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, President Donald Trump will likely nominate another conservative, and the court is still poised to take a hard right turn.

“I think a more accurate caption for this term is the ‘calm before the storm,'” Irving Gornstein, executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law said at a recent event.

Keep reading: Supreme Court begins new term in shadow of Kavanaugh fight

President Trump says he wants a “comprehensive” but “quick” FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“I want the FBI — this is now their seventh investigation — I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “Whatever that means according to the senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority, I want them to do that.”

But, Trump said “I want it to go quickly” since the lingering accusations are unfair to Kavanaugh. 

“It’s unfair to him at this point,” Trump said.

Trump decried the “trauma” Kavanaugh has been subjected to in the confirmation process.

‘This is our seventh investigation of a man who has really — you look at his life, until this happened, what a change he’s gone through. The trauma for a man who has never had any accusations, Trump said.

Trump continued: “So I want the FBI, this is now  the 7th investigation. It’s not like they are just starting. I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation.” 

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“This is our seventh investigation of a man who has really — you look at his life, until this happened, what a change he’s gone through. The trauma for a man who has never had any accusations,” Trump said.
“I want the FBI — this is now their seventh investigation — I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “Whatever that means according to the senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority, I want them to do that.”
But, Trump said, “I want it to go quickly” since the lingering accusations are unfair to Kavanaugh.
“It’s unfair to him at this point,” Trump said.
Yale classmate says Kavanaugh has "not told the truth" about his drinking

Trump also said Kavanaugh should be interviewed by the FBI if it helps lawmakers make a decision on his nomination, though he repeatedly deferred to the Senate as the body in charge of the scope of the investigation.
“I think so,” Trump said when asked if the FBI should question his nominee. “It’s up to them.”
“I think the FBI should interview anybody they want but within reason,” Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden.
“They should interview, but they should be guided by what the senators are looking for,” he said.
Asked if he would have concerns about Kavanaugh if he lied about his drinking, Trump said: “I watched him. I was surprised at how vocal he was about he fact that he likes beer … This is not a man that said that he was perfect with respect to alcohol.”
Trump suggested “there are bad reports on everybody” present in the Rose Garden.
“Except for Mike Pence by the way,” he joked, to laughter.
“I think the judge has been pretty amazing about describing his situation with alcohol and with beer,” he said, pivoting to criticize Democratic senators.
Pressed on whether lying would be disqualifying, Trump said: “I don’t think he did.”