President Donald Trump threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement the day after signing a new multibillion-dollar trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. The leaders of each country met before the G20 summit to sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which now must be approved by Congress before taking effect. Proposals for USCMA began in early October 2018 after Trump raised tariffs on steel and aluminum products for both countries, setting off “retaliatory tariffs and intense negotiations to create a new trade pact,” according to NPR. The new deal restructures free trade rules, loosens restrictions on environmental protections and addresses wages for auto workers along with other labor issues.
Oregon’s Chronic Pain Task Force announced Wednesday an opioid plan that “expands alternate treatments” but “[limits] the use of opioids,” according to The Bulletin. The committee suggests treatment for chronic pain under Oregon’s Medicaid program, with the most recent proposal allowing treatment such as acupuncture and physical therapy as alternatives to opioids. People with certain medical conditions would also be required to taper off opioids. If approved, the plan will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Trump nominated William Barr for attorney general on Friday, Dec. 7, replacing Matthew Whitaker and taking the spot of ousted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Barr served as the former chief law enforcement official during the first Bush administration and has stressed “unvarnished, straight-from-the-shoulder legal advice.” His advocacy for sweeping executive branch powers and role in advising Bush to pardon top administration officials involved in the Iran-Contra scandal have received renewed scrutiny.