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NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

U.S., Canada, Mexico Sign New USMCA Trade Agreement. (12/04/2018)

The Wall Street Journal (11/30, Schlesinger, Davis, Subscription Publication) reported that the U.S., Canada and Mexico have signed a new trade deal to replace the NAFTA.

The leaders of the three countries “signed an authorization for the deal on Friday morning in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, with their ministers signing it shortly after,” Bloomberg News (11/30) reported. “The vast majority of the pact still needs to be ratified by lawmakers in the three countries but the signing enacts a handful of immediate protections, such as from auto tariffs.” Bloomberg News reported that uncertainties “remain, as the original 1994 pact remains in effect, and tariffs on steel and aluminum continue to be a major irritant.”

Business Climate

Gas Prices Drop Below $2 A Gallon In 20 States As National Average Continues To Decline. (12/04/2018)

Bloomberg News (11/28, Collins) reported, “sub-$2 gasoline can now be found in at least one gas station in 20 US states, as the effects of the bear market in crude oil trickle down to motorists.” Meanwhile, “the national average has fallen for seven straight weeks to $2.53 a gallon, the lowest since March.”

Small Business Marketing

Mobile Payments Helping Small Business Owners Reach More Customers. (11/27/2018)

NBC News (11/24) examined how technology is helping small businesses “embrace today’s changing retail world,” discussing how mobile payment apps like Square can help small business owners. One told NBC News, “We used online to tap into the retail space, to make our business different. All of a sudden, we were able to reach customers far beyond our small town instantly.”

Wages and Benefits

Administration Proposal Would Allow ACA Subsidies To Be Used For Wider Variety Of Plans. (12/04/2018)

The Washington Post (11/29, Goldstein) reported that the Administration is “urging states to tear down pillars of the Affordable Care Act, demolishing a basic rule that federal insurance subsidies can be used only for people buying health plans in marketplaces created under the law.” The Post said that “federal health officials” advised that states should be “free to redefine the use of those subsidies, which have since 2014 provided the first help the government ever has offered consumers to afford monthly insurance premiums.”

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