Vox Sentences: A NAFTA by any other name

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

The new deal intended to replace NAFTA is eerily similar; riots between far-right demonstrators and counterprotesters turn violent in Germany.


Trump’s new trade deal isn’t so new

 Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Trump administration is trying to create a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada that looks a lot like NAFTA. Canada was initially absent from the talks but has rushed officials to Washington to speak with the American president. [Washington Post / Heather Long]
  • The new agreement ensures that car manufacturers produce a bigger majority of mobile parts in the US, source resources such as steel and glass locally, and ensure workers in Canada and the US have higher wages. [NYT / Ana Swanson, Alan Rappeport, and Emily Baumgaertner]
  • Mexico has also promised to pass laws that strengthen workers’ rights, but the country has a poor track record of enforcing many laws.
  • [Vox / Alexia Fernández Campbell]
  • NAFTA renegotiation talks have been in the works for just over a year. Trump has since threatened to withdraw from the agreement multiple times. [The Balance / Kimberly Amadeo]
  • American relations with Canada and Mexico have also been poor since Trump imposed high tariffs that affected trade with the two countries. Canadian officials hope this agreement will be a way to bridge the gap left by the conflict. [WSJ / Paul Vieira]
  • Trump says he wants to do away with NAFTA and create two bilateral agreements with America’s neighboring countries. But he’s showing little care for the next battle: obtaining congressional approval for the new deal to go into effect and to terminate his current trading relationship with Canada (if the northern country doesn’t move forward with Mexico and the US) by Friday. [Politico / Doug Palmer]
  • Some say the new deal is merely a “rebranding” — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto even referred to the younger agreement as “NAFTA.” [The Atlantic / Krishnadev Calamur]
  • In reality, it seems like the new deal just resolves a “stingy bilateral trade issue.” [Vox / Alex Ward]

Far-right extremism is back with a vengeance in Germany

  • Right-wing extremists have taken to the streets in Chemnitz, Germany — rallying, brandishing fireworks and glass bottles as weapons, and hunting for foreigners — after a local was stabbed by two international residents on Sunday morning. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • More than 3,000 neo-Nazis and nationalists began rallying on Sunday night, shouting xenophobic chants and violently clashing with leftist protesters. The police force in Saxony (where Chemnitz is located) said that at least 18 people were injured and 10 were being investigated for flashing Nazi salutes by the end of the second of three rallies on Monday. [Washington Post / Rick Noack]
  • A 22-year-old Iraqi man and a 22-year-old Syrian man were arrested on Monday, sparking more protests. Some speculate that police are secretly siding with the far right because they aren’t moving quickly with investigations into the Nazi salutes and someone within the force likely leaked one of the arrest documents (possibly to exacerbate the situation). [Telegraph / Justin Huggler]
  • German officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, are deeply alarmed by the incidents, which could be indicative of the gains the far-right party Alternative for Germany may make in next year’s election. [Guardian / Kate Connolly]

Miscellaneous

  • A “scallop war” has broken out in the English Channel. British and French fishermen are fighting over waning scallop populations by throwing rocks and smoke bombs at one another. [Financial Times / Naomi Rovnick and Harriet Agnew]
  • The online movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is implementing an expanded list of guidelines to become an approved critic in order to diversify the movie reviewers featured on the site. The change in policy will likely shape how the website defines a good movie. [Quartz / Ashley Rodriguez]
  • President Trump has allegedly created a secret task force to sabotage the public support for marijuana in the US and halt its country-wide legalization campaign. [BuzzFeed / Dominic Holden]
  • In another case of teachers going above and beyond, one woman “dropped everything she had to do” and babysat a former student’s five-week-old daughter while the mother attended a job fair in Chicago last week. [Epoch Times / Alan Cheung]

Verbatim

“To some, happiness is the opposite of worry: enjoying good health, being free of troubles. To others, it’s living a meaningful life and giving to others. … The bottom line: Researchers determine if someone’s happy by asking them if they’re happy. Don’t take my word for it: Ask yourself.” [Brad Rassler on learning to be “really, truly happy” / Outside Online]


Watch this: How Pakistan’s cricket superstar became prime minister

Why the world is watching Imran Khan. [YouTube / Christina Thornell and Kimberly Mas]


Read more

America is one of 6 countries that make up more than half of gun deaths worldwide

Solar on water, robots, and 2-sided panels, oh my: solar tech’s near future

Dyson’s new $500 golden hair dryer, explained

Trump’s continued indolent response to Hurricane Maria is our worst fears about him come true

Why romantic comedies matter