Gianforte, Daines Call for Vote on North American Trade Deal
Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) and U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) today took to the floor of their respective chambers to urge immediate action on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), citing the trade deal’s benefits to Montana.
Nearly one year ago, President Trump and leaders of Canada and Mexico signed the agreement which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, the region’s trade deal since 1994.
USMCA, however, has stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On the floor of the House, Gianforte underscored the urgency to consider and vote on USMCA: “The House has 13 legislative days left this year, 13 days to get this deal done.”
“Madam Speaker, the needless delays must end. The Trump administration has done its job and negotiated an agreement that works for Montana and our country. It’s time for Congress to do its job,” Gianforte said. “I urge House leaders to give farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and business owners the certainty they need.”
On the Senate floor, Daines said, “Montanans are growing restless as Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats continue to slow walk a very important trade agreement for Montana and our nation, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. For our producers and our ag related industries in Montana, passing USMCA would help provide certainty and alleviate the challenges and obstacles they’ve faced this tough season. Montanans are sick and tired of the politics and partisan games being played here in Washington. And frankly, I am too.”
Gianforte and Daines have been pushing for ratification of USMCA.
In May, Gianforte sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urging them to support USMCA and work with the White House to move it forward. In September, nearly a year after the three countries reached the agreement, he spoke on the House floor to urge Pelosi again to act on USMCA.
In June, Daines raised the importance of advancing USMCA in a U.S. Senate Finance hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. In October, he spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to act and advance USMCA.
According to a report from the United States International Trade Commission, USMCA will create 176,000 new jobs, grow the U.S. economy by $68.2 billion, and increase agricultural exports by $2.2 billion.
Nearly 1,000 agricultural groups across the U.S. have endorsed USMCA, including the Montana Farm Bureau, Montana Grain Elevator Association, Montana Pork Producers Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
In May 2017, the Trump administration notified Congress of the start of negotiations to modernize NAFTA.
In September 2018, negotiations concluded with an agreement between all three countries and the final text was published online.
In November 2018, President Trump and the leaders of Canada and Mexico signed the agreement.
On March 26, 2019, Bloomberg reported, USMCA “isn’t one of her [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s] legislative priorities.”
On May 29, 2019, the New York Times reported, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is resisting pressure from the Trump administration to quickly approve an updated North American trade deal and is telling lawmakers and union officials that a planned study of the agreement could drag on well into the fall.”
On June 19, 2019, Mexico passed USMCA.
On November 19, 2019, Politico reported, “Freshman Democrats on Tuesday emerged from a trade meeting with a key labor leader with little confidence that the House would vote on President Donald Trump’s trade deal by year’s end.”