The U.S. House has passed today a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that would impact Missouri farmers. Missouri’s Republican House members, along with Democrat Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City voted for the deal and Democrat Lacy Clay opposed it. The agreement, often referred to as the USMCA, would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. It includes a boost in U.S. access to Canadian dairy markets and tougher labor enforcement to deter companies from moving jobs out of the U.S.
Northern Missouri Republican Congressman Sam Graves is happy with USMCA’s passage, but not with Nancy Pelosi.
“Today’s approval of the USMCA is a huge victory for America and I was proud to support it. After more than a year of delay by Speaker Pelosi, we were finally able to get this common-sense trade agreement approved. President Trump promised to get a much better trade deal with Canada and Mexico and he kept his promise,” says Graves. “This agreement is a good deal for the American farmer, the American worker and the American family. I’m glad we finally got this done. It’s a big win for the American people.”
East-Central Missouri Republican Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer shared similar remarks.
“There are over 234,000 jobs in Missouri that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, and thanks to USMCA, U.S. agriculture and food exports will increase by at least $2 billion each year. This is a major victory for Missouri farmers, manufacturers and small businesses,” said Luetkemeyer. “This bill is also an example of the success that can be achieved when Congress actually works with the Administration. Instead of blindly attacking the President as usual, I’m pleased Democrats finally decided to embrace the critical trade deal he negotiated for the betterment of all Americans.”
St. Louis Democrat Lacy Clay opposed the plan. He says he “voted to defend millions of skilled manufacturing jobs by opposing the inadequate and highly disappointing United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.”
“Just like the original NAFTA, which was a slap in the face to working Americans, NAFTA 2.0 is a deeply-flawed agreement that fails to protect key skilled manufacturing sectors like aerospace and automobiles from even more foreign outsourcing of good jobs,” says Clay. “Manufacturing jobs have been flowing out of this country for more than 25 years. Instead of improving job security for working Americans, USMCA does very little to stem this tide of good jobs and talent leaving our country.”
Clay says the USMCA also fails to “require sufficiently tougher standards for environmental protection, workplace rights, effective enforcement and stronger rules for content origin.”
“NAFTA 2.0 fails to provide the improvements that we were promised, including: Raising labor standards to livable wages in all signatory nations; guaranteeing the Right to Organize; and protecting human rights,” he says. “This is a bad deal for American workers and for their counterparts in Mexico and Canada. We can and we must do more to protect American jobs and to lift up the lives of workers across North America as well.”
The Senate is not expected to take up the deal until January.
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