Trump’s “modern…new trade agreement” isn’t even NAFTA 2.0


Reuters/Leah Mills — edited

❝ Two months after signing the United States–Mexico–Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trump administration has submitted to Congress a list of the changes in US law that are needed to comply with its terms. As expected, the January 29 notification reinforced the perception that what President Trump called “the largest, most significant modern and balanced trade agreement in history” requires very few changes in US law because much of the new accord replicates or closely parallels NAFTA and other recent US trade pacts…

❝ The US Trade Representative (USTR) notification, due 60 days after the pact was signed on November 30, 2018, is one of the requirements set by Congress to expedite implementing legislation for US trade agreements. The most important changes in the submission involve increased restrictions on US auto imports and decreased US barriers to farm goods shipped from Canada.

That’s it, folks. I’d suggest reading the article. There are six topics out of a meager six pages covering this “new, significant” report to Congress – as required by law. Nothing that wouldn’t have been covered by a normal update to a treaty like NAFTA. Most of which was already laid out in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that went into force recently – signed by Mexico and Canada and ignored by our fake president.

I’d call it NAFTA 1.1…

43% of generic drugs FDA-approved in the last year — aren’t offered to Americans


Getty/Ute Grabowsky

❝ Of the more than 1,600 generic drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration since January of 2017, more than 700—or 43 percent—are not for sale in the US, according to a new analysis by Kaiser Health News.

The finding means that many pricy, brand-name drugs are not facing the competition that could help drive down soaring prices. Among the drugs missing in action are generic versions of the expensive blood thinner Brilinta and the HIV medication Truvada. Moreover, of the approved drugs that would offer a brand-name drug its first competition, 36 percent are being held off the market, the analysis found…

Whatever the reason, keeping approved generics from the market is “a real problem because we’re not getting all the expected competition,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said…

Generic approvals at the FDA have ramped up in recent years, and the agency is cracking down on anti-competitive tactics, Gottlieb said…

Even when generics grow to play a significant role in market pricing the usual result is a one-third price cut. Experience tells me whatever price cut a national-class company makes – that’s often only half of how much they can afford.