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The Spill: Two Deals

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Two Trade Deals – China and USMCA

This week had big news on U.S. trade with other countries. An agreement was reached with China, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is soon expected to pass through Congress.


When President Trump was elected, he began a “trade war” with China. Trump put tariffs (taxes) on things bought from China. Talks of a trade agreement have been on and off, but on December 12, phase one of a deal was reached.

Under the plan, the White House scraps taxes on some Chinese goods (clothing, computers, smartphones, and toys) and cuts some of the current tariffs in half.

With the first phase out of the way, the U.S. and China can work out phase two.


The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a new trade deal between those three countries.

Congress is expected to vote on USMCA, and it is expected to pass without a problem.

USMCA says that cars should be made with parts that are mostly from the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. It also allows U.S. farmers to sell more dairy products to Canada.

UK Election and Brexit

The United Kingdom had a general election on December 12, and Boris Johnson was voted to stay the nation’s Prime Minister. Johnson’s Conservative Party was given a bigger majority in Parliament, while other parties had major losses. Johnson campaigned for Brexit.

Britain and the European Union

In 2016, the U.K. voted to leave the European Union – a group of countries in Europe that share certain political and economic rules. This idea is called “Brexit,” which is a mixture of the words “Britain” and “exit.”

As Johnson said the morning after the election, “Let’s get Brexit done. But first, let’s get breakfast done.”

US Adopts the International Foot

Measurements are different all over the world. This can be confusing when traveling across the globe but it can be even more so within one country! In the United States, the measurement of a “foot” varies from state to state. Some states user the international foot, while others use the survey foot. The difference is small, but it can make a huge difference when measuring long distances – the country is 28.3 feet wider when measured using the international foot, compared to the survey foot!

Scientist Michael Dennis said that, confusion over the length of a foot caused  problems for when building a high-speed rail in California, a bridge between Oregon and Washington State, and caused delays at an airport.

The federal government has finally said that the country will adopt the international foot, starting from the year 2022.

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