Morning Report August 21, 2017

WAR GAMES

The US and South Korea will continue with their plans of 10 days worth of military exercises beginning today, despite dire warning from North Korea.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises are designed to test the readiness of South Korea and the United States, should conflict with the north break out.

North Korea warned yesterday that the military exercises are “reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.” In messages printed by the official government newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, Pyongyang said its army can target the United States anytime, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can “dodge the merciless strike.”

The Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise is an event that’s been happening for qute sometime, but this time, will no doubt continue to spark angry rhetoric and possible action from the north. Last year North Korea tested a nuclear bomb just seven days after the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drill, as its show of responding force.

AFGHANISTAN UPDATE

According to multiple reports, President Trump will address the nation tonight on the ongoing war effort in Afghanistan and where the battle stands on eliminating ISIS.

Trump is expected to announce a plan at 9pm est, that will include sending as many as 4,000 more troops to the country. The speech, according to the white house, will be give from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

Over the weekend the president spent time at Camp David with some of his military advisors. This action is likely the outcome of those discussions.

Interestingly, recent reports had noted that ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had advocated publicly for ending the war in Afghanistan.

NAFTA DEAL SOON?

The US, Canada and Mexico ended the first round of NAFTA negotiations on Sunday with all three nations sounded encouraged that a deal could soon be in place.

A statement released by the countries read, “While a great deal of effort and negotiation will be required in the coming months, Canada, Mexico and the United States are committed to an accelerated and comprehensive negotiation process that will upgrade our agreement and establish 21st century standards to the benefit of our citizens.”

The three country negotiations are set to continue at a rapid pace, moving to Canada in late September and returning to the United States in October, with additional rounds being planned for the remainder of the year.

Canada, Mexico and the United States are committed to an accelerated and comprehensive negotiation process that will upgrade our agreement and establish 21st century standards to the benefit of our citizens.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), went into effect in 1994. The deal created one of the world’s largest free trade zones and laid the foundation for strong economic growth and rising prosperity for Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

NAFTA has been criticized by the Trump administration as not being a good deal for the US. President Trump vowed to remake the deal during the 2016 presidential campaign.