Trump apparently wants to 'rebrand' NAFTA with the same acronym as the Marine Corps

Trump has a new name for NAFTA
(Image credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump was the featured guest at a high-dollar private fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel on Wednesday night. Donors paid $100,000 a head to join the president for a roundtable discussion, followed by a $35,000-per-couple dinner and and opportunity to get their photo taken with Trump (for $70,000). The event raised $3 million for the joint RNC-Trump 2020 "Trump Victory" fundraising committee, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

So what insider information did attendees get for $100,000? A recitation of positive economic stats, for one. Trump also thanked a cardiologist he'd met in Indiana, Dr. Rim Al-Bezem, for warning him that Syria, Russia, and Iran were planning a massacre in Idlib province, prompting Trump to tweet out a warning to those three countries, the Journal reports. (In return, the Journal says, "Dr. Al-Bezem, whose identity hasn't been previously reported, told Mr. Trump on Wednesday that his tweet saved tens of thousands of lives, an analysis the president agreed with.") And Trump revealed plans to "rebrand" the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has publicly suggested renaming NAFTA, trying out the United States–Mexico Trade Agreement (USMTA) after reaching a preliminary agreement with Mexico in August. But he had a new name Wednesday night, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada pact, or USMC, the Journal says. USMC, of course, is also the initials of the U.S. Marine Corps, as his chief of staff and defense secretary — both retired Marine generals — might remind him. If Canada doesn't agree to the changes to NAFTA he is demanding, Trump told the donors, he would drop the C, leaving the USM pact. That would cause confusion with a whole bunch of other things, from the University of Southern Mississippi to Ultimate Spider-Man and the U.S. Military.

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NAFTA may have a "bad connotation," as Trump claims, but at least you can pronounce it — and it isn't also the three-letter international code for Thailand's Samui International Airport.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.