October 23, 2019
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow the House to vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which will directly benefit Missouri’s economy.
Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:
“Mr. President, this is a classic example of everything has been said, but not everybody has said it yet. One of the great traditions of the Senate is to be sure that everybody says it. And we're going to say it now, we're going to continue to say it until the House finally has that vote.
“It's been pointed out that this agreement was signed well over a year ago. It's been pointed out that our two biggest trading partners are Mexico and Canada in that order. Been pointed out lots of focus on agriculture. Every state, every state is an agriculture state. Every state has that as a significant part of their economy. Nobody in the world does that part of the economy more efficiently, more effectively than we do. And so that's important. It's important to realize that lots of other things are in trade as well. But agriculture is going to be mentioned a lot until we get this done.
“Whether I was at the Missouri State Fair in August or the roundtable meetings I was at in our state in October, it constantly comes up. Eighty-eight billion dollars is the agricultural economy in Missouri. About the same amount, I think Senator Hoeven just said that his state was in the top ten, ours is too. We export about $4 billion worth of ag products but we also export pickup trucks and airplanes and lots of technology from our state.
“Export our fair share of beer cans and other things that go all over the world. And we're going to continue to make that happen. But opening markets makes a big difference. It also makes a big difference in how you look at the world. If you have strong trading relationships, you're pretty careful about how you deal with all those other relationships. And we need to do that. We need to have this vote. The votes are in the House. The votes are in the Senate. It's up to the speaker to bring this up.
“I think the U. S. trade representative is working as hard with Democrats in the House as he could possibly be expected to do to maybe look at those last few things that might make this a better deal. But Senator Portman did a great job talking about why the choice here is do you want to continue to have NAFTA, which has been great for all three partners, Canada, Mexico, and us, or do you want to have the USMCA, which in area after area after area has the 20-year update that needs to be had.”