Donald Trump Current Affairs - 2020

NAFTA 2.0 comes into effect from 1st July 2020

A new free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada comes into effect from 1st July 2020 onwards. It replaced the earlier 26 years old free trade agreement between the three countries- North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new free trade agreement has been ratified by all three countries.

All three signatories of the new trade agreement have referred it by different names, United States called it USMCA- the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, while the Canadian Government has referred to as CUSMA, in Mexico by T-MEC.

NAFTA 2.0 is not a wholly new agreement, it is a renegotiated version of the earlier NAFTA agreement with certain changes, hence it has been referred to as NAFTA 2.0.

Background

During the 2016 Presidential Election Campaign, United States President Donald Trump has announced and promised he would renegotiate the NAFTA free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, and if the renegotiations fail, we would pull out of the NAFTA agreement.

The renegotiations with largely focusing on ‘Steel and Aluminum Tariffs’ between the United States and Canada begin in August 2017. NAFTA 2.0 was signed by the Head of the States of the three countries on the sideline of the 2018 G20 Summit in Argentina. A year later a revised version of the deal was signed on 10th December 2019 before being ratified by the three countries.

Democrat-led House of Representatives approves Statehood Bill for Washington D.C

On 26th June 2020, the lower house of the United States Congress the House of Representatives has voted 232-180 in favour of the Bill that would grant the United States capital Washington D.C statehood for the first time since it was created 230 years ago.

However, with the Presidential Elections in November this year, the Bill introduced by Eleanor Holmes Norton (non-voting member of the House of Representative from Washington D.C) seems unlikely to come into force as the chances for the Bill to advance at the Senate (Upper House of the United States Congress) seems unlikely. Also, the United States President has made it clear that he would ‘veto’ the Bill even if it is passed at the Senate.

In 1790, Washington D.C was carved out from the states of Virginia and Maryland. D.C stands for District of Columbia.

At present, at the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party has a clear majority with 233 seats out of the total 435 seats. The United States President Trump’s Republican Party has 198 members at the House of Representatives. Out of 233 Democrats, 232 have voted in favour of the Bill. The Republican Party has voiced their opposition against the Bill from the beginning.

At the Senate, the Bill is even unlikely to be introduced as the Republican Party has a majority with 53 out of the 100 seats. Democrats have 45 seats at the Senate.