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Blunt Talks USMCA Trade Agreement

May 21, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee (RPC), welcomed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to the weekly RPC lunch to provide an update on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). Blunt noted that the lifting of tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico is an important step in getting the trade deal through Congress.

Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:

“Well, in Missouri we make some steel and we make some aluminum, but we make a lot more aluminum cans than we make aluminum; we make bass boats and automobiles and air planes. And frankly, the impact on our economy of that tariff has been pretty significant.

“But it’s also been significant on farmers as they’re looking for machine replacements, as they’re looking for repairs, all of those prices were going up at the same time.

“We did have a great update today from Ambassador Lighthizer. I do think eliminating those tariffs, on both the House and the Senate side of the building, gives USMCA some momentum it didn’t have. Hopefully we can get to that agreement soon, it’s an improvement over NAFTA, hopefully House and Senate members will all see it as that and we get that done.

“We’re beginning to see some real stress in the ag economy, but doing things, like eliminating those tariffs, seeing some progress in Japan. We had some good announcements from Japan last week, and the ambassador spending some time there, as we’re looking forward to new markets as well as making fairer arrangements with the markets that we traditionally have all were good and all were the kind of things we heard from the ambassador today.”

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