Will NAFTA Renegotiation Produce TPP 2.0 and Intensify Damage?

Lori Wallach

Lori Wallach Director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to make NAFTA “much better” for working people. Today’s notice is markedly vague. But Trump’s NAFTA renegotiation plan that leaked in late March described just what the corporate lobby is demanding: using NAFTA talks to revive parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), like expanded investor incentives to offshore jobs that could make NAFTA even worse for working people.

The obvious measure of whether NAFTA renegotiation is intended to benefit working people is if Trump makes clear he will eliminate NAFTA’s special investor rights that make it easier to offshore American jobs and attack our laws before tribunals of three corporate lawyers who can award the firms unlimited sums of taxpayer money.

If corporate elites are allowed to dictate how NAFTA is renegotiated, the agreement could become more damaging for working families and the environment in the three countries. And modest tweaks will not stop NAFTA’s ongoing damage, much less deliver on Trump’s promises for a deal that will create American jobs and raise wages.

Already the 500 corporate trade advisers who got us into the TPP have been consulted on NAFTA renegotiations, while the few labor advisers were shut out of that March meeting. And the public and Congress are being left in the dark about negotiating plans and goals.

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Who Are the Real Job Creators?

Trump’s ‘Small-Business’ Tax Cut Is Actually a Tax Cut for Trump and Fellow Millionaires

Seth Hanlon Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

A tax proposal that President Donald Trump is describing as a tax cut for small businesses is actually a giant tax cut for millionaires, new model estimates from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center show.

The proposal would provide massive tax windfalls for high-income owners of passthrough business entities, including President Trump himself. In light of this, perhaps a more appropriate name for the tax cut is the “Trump loophole.”

The tax plan released by the Trump administration on April 26 proposes capping the tax rate on passthrough business income to 15 percent. “Passthroughs” are business entities that do not pay the corporate tax, including S corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Currently, the owners of these entities pay tax directly on their profits at regular income tax rates, which range from 10 percent for people with a modest amount of taxable income to 39.6 percent for people with very high incomes. Therefore, Trump’s plan would slash the tax rate that millionaires and high-income people pay on passthrough business income by nearly 25 percentage points, from 39.6 percent to 15 percent—a massive windfall.

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Trump's Commencement Speech Sounds A Little Familiar...

Senate Republicans Are Arguing About How Badly to Screw the Poor

Kevin Drum

Kevin Drum Political Blogger, Mother Jones

Medicaid doesn't get a lot of attention in the debate over Trumpcare, but it's likely that more people would be affected by Medicaid cuts than by any other single part of the bill. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that Senate conservatives still aren't satisfied:

Some conservative Senate Republicans, such as [Mike] Lee, want to immediately start phasing back federal money for expansion enrollees, a process that would take 10 years....Conservatives also hope to use a different formula to calculate federal Medicaid funding that would mean less money for states. The House bill would slash an estimated $839 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, according to the CBO. Senate conservatives want to change federal funding of Medicaid in part by pegging it to a different inflation measure, which long term would mean less generous payments to the states than under the House GOP bill.

....Centrist GOP senators are on board with some Medicaid cuts but disagree over how best to implement them. Some say the House plan to halt federal funding for new expansion enrollees in 2020 is too harsh and want a longer sunset of the program.

Nearly a quarter of all Americans depend on Medicaid as their primary (or only) source of health coverage. That's the American health care system for you. Nonetheless, of course Republican centrists are on board with "some" Medicaid cuts. They only want to quibble over whether 10 million poor people should be tossed out of the program by 2026 or if it would be more humane to toss out 9 million poor people by 2028. Decisions, decisions.

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Reposted from Mother Jones.