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Blunt Calls on Congress to Approve USMCA

July 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to urge Congress to approve the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will lead to more American jobs, higher wages, and more exports. Blunt noted that the trade deal will significantly benefit Missouri agriculture, an $88 billion industry that supports nearly 400,000 jobs.

Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:

“Madam President, something I want to talk about today, something you and I both care a lot about. That's farming families and trade. For those of us who grew up on or near farming families, we know that there are a lot of things that are beyond the control of families who farm. For farming and ranching families, the only real certainty is uncertainty. …

“In Missouri, agriculture is an $88 billion industry. It employs nearly 400,000 people in our state. Missouri farmers and ranchers export more than $4 billion worth of products every year. Trade deals … that lower tariffs on goods that are paid by Missouri farming and rancher families are a good deal. …

“Now, we make lots of other things in our state, too. We make airplanes. We make pickup trucks. We make cars. We make beer cans. We make all kinds of things that are impacted by trade. But particularly when you and I are out talking, Senator, in our neighboring states with the communities we deal with in agriculture, trade is a top of the line issue. It's just an important part of the economy of most of our states, frankly. …

“When the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement 25 years ago, it did a lot to open those markets for our products and to not only strengthen our economy but to strengthen the neighborhood. Our exports of food and agricultural products to Canada and Mexico quadrupled under the NAFTA agreement. The treaty also helped to strengthen ties among our countries. …

“Now, the agreement could have been better and the president has made it better. The USMCA is going to be better than NAFTA. No NAFTA would be a bad thing. NAFTA replaced by USMCA would be a good thing. It's time that we begin to build on what we have learned in that 25 years and move into this century with a new agreement that works for farming families, for ranching families, for workers, for people who again, make automobiles and airplanes and other things. …

“Certainly we hope to gain from the new USMCA treaty, but we hope our neighbors also benefit from that treaty and know they will. The three countries all signed this agreement in November. Mexico has ratified it already. The prime minister of Canada says they stand ready to call their parliament back into session to ratify it as soon as it's clear we're going to.

“Trade is essential. All three of our countries agree on that. Democrats and Republicans agree on that. Members of the House and Senate agree on that. Now what we need to agree on is how to have the time to vote, and approve this deal.

“Let's give our economy the boost it needs. Let's give our neighborhood the strength that we've seen develop over the last 25 years. Madam President, we hope our friends in the House bring this to the floor.

“It will be a bipartisan vote. It will be a comfortably passed vote, but you have to decide to have the vote for that to happen, and I hope we're close to that moment.”


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