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Economy & Jobs

The Time Has Come. Congress, Pass USMCA.

4 minute read

As vice president I’ve had the opportunity to travel all across this country and meet Americans from all walks of life. Literally everywhere I go, the American people tell me that they couldn’t be more proud of the progress that this country has made under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

As a candidate, the president promised to fight for policies that put American jobs and American workers first, and from the first days of this administration, he has delivered. As a result, today America is stronger and more prosperous than ever before.

Since the day Trump was elected, businesses large and small have created 7 million American jobs. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in 10 years, and disposable income for the average American household has skyrocketed by more than $5,000 a year.

Trump has achieved these results in the face of historic obstruction. Rather than focusing on the needs of the people they were elected to represent, congressional Democrats have spent the last three years on endless investigations in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Despite their partisan impeachment, Trump has remained focused on how to keep our economy growing, and he negotiated the largest trade deal in American history, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The U.S. International Trade Commission says that within five years, the USMCA could add up to $235 billion in new economic growth and 589,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.

The USMCA will put in place the strongest and most comprehensive labor protections of any trade agreement in American history.

The USMCA will also remove unfair restrictions on America’s farmers so they can sell more products to Canada.

And finally, the deal’s new rules on intellectual property will better protect American businesses and innovators, and will serve as a template for future trade deals.

The USMCA makes a strong statement to the world that the era of U.S. economic surrender is over, and that if other countries want access to the most prosperous economy in the history of the world, then they have to give American workers access to their markets, too.

In stark contrast to the Democrats’ partisan impeachment, the USMCA will benefit Americans of every political party and every background. Since the president negotiated the USMCA more than a year ago, I’ve visited dozens of businesses, factories, and farms across America, and one of the most rewarding things I saw was Democrats responding to their constituents to put partisan politics aside and support the USMCA.

I remember standing before the behemoth Caterpillar trucks in Arizona, and seeing the excitement of their employees, who know that the USMCA is going to expand their digital trade and create more jobs. I can still see the look in the eyes of Ford auto workers in Michigan as I told them that we would finally end NAFTA and raise autoworker wages even higher. I can still hear the roar of more than one thousand workers at Manitowoc Cranes in Pennsylvania when I said that the USMCA will create nearly 50,000 American manufacturing jobs.

With limited time on the congressional calendar before the end of 2019, the clock is ticking. But now more than a year after the president negotiated the USMCA, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party have finally acquiesced to the will of the American people and agreed to bring it before the Congress and give it a vote.

While Democrats have spent most of 2019 on endless investigations, passing the USMCA is a step they can take to finally start working with the president to serve the American people.

It’s time for Congress to pass it so that Trump can sign it into law, and it can create jobs and opportunity for Americans all across our country.

Mike Pence is vice president of the United States.

This op-ed appeared in The Detroit News on December 11, 2019.