Smart Ideas: NAFTA Is Good For America—Trump Just Won’t Say So

President Obama with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the North America Leaders' Summit in June 2016.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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May 29, 2017, 8 p.m.

Canada and Mexico are explaining why NAFTA helps America

Ana Cam­poy, writ­ing for Quartz

Pres­id­ent Trump has spent months rail­ing against the North Amer­ic­an Free Trade Agree­ment, com­ing with­in days of tear­ing it up be­fore back­ing down. “While he makes up his mind, Naf­ta’s oth­er mem­bers, Canada and Mex­ico, have taken it upon them­selves to brief Amer­ic­ans on why it’s in their best in­terest to keep it.” For­eign of­fi­cials from both coun­tries have been work­ing to dis­pel a num­ber of myths that Trump has been push­ing about the trade agree­ment. The biggest myth is that “NAF­TA is bad for the US,” an over­sim­pli­fic­a­tion that ig­nores the deal’s be­ne­fits for many Amer­ic­an com­pan­ies. A second myth is that “trade is killing Amer­ic­an jobs. … But the big­ger cul­prit is tech­no­logy, not trade.” While Trump got elec­ted by rail­ing against the per­ils of free trade, he is pres­id­ent now, and he should ac­tu­ally pay at­ten­tion.

People are mailing opioids to America

Ju­li­ette Kayyem, writ­ing for STAT News

A Postal Ser­vice loop­hole is con­trib­ut­ing to the opioid crisis. For­eign coun­tries can mail drugs, par­tic­u­larly syn­thet­ic opioids like fentanyl and car­fentanil, dir­ectly to the U.S. “For each pack­age mailed to the US, private cour­i­ers such as Fe­d­Ex and UPS must at­tach elec­tron­ic in­form­a­tion that in­cludes the ship­per’s name and ad­dress, the re­cip­i­ent’s name and ad­dress, and the weight of the pack­age.” The USPS has yet to ad­apt, as nearly 1 mil­lion pack­ages ar­rive from over­seas every day without data that can be plugged in­to al­gorithms to identi­fy high-risk pack­ages.

It's too early to discuss impeachment

Mi­chael J. Ger­hardt, writ­ing for the Pitt­s­burgh Tribune-Re­view

Con­gres­sion­al lead­ers should pump the brakes on im­peach­ing Trump. Im­peach­ment is a meas­ure of last re­sort when oth­er mech­an­isms have failed, and it “can­not and should not be done hast­ily, nor should it be done for reas­ons so flimsy they sug­gest politi­cians are merely jock­ey­ing for polit­ic­al ad­vant­age rather than pro­tect­ing con­sti­tu­tion­al val­ues.” That pro­cess should in­clude fact-find­ing by both spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller and con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tees, and mov­ing cau­tiously so as not to “sub­ject the out­come to claims of either a white­wash or of over­turn­ing the res­ults of an elec­tion held just months ago.”


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