VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: Well, thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. Thank you again for your hospitality and having the opportunity to express our appreciation to the USMCA advisory council here in Canada.
President Trump asked me to be here to express our appreciation for the efforts the Prime Minister, his government, and all of you have made in fashioning what will be, for the United States, the largest trade deal in the history of our country.
When the Prime Minister and I first met, I told him then that President Trump and I believe that we could negotiate a new trade agreement that would be a win, win, win for the nations across North America. And we believe that we’ve all done that, collectively.
And I can assure you that your Prime Minister, representing all of the interests on this advisory council, drove a hard bargain. I was in on many of those discussions, and our President drove a hard bargain as well. But we really do believe that the USMCA is an idea whose time has come, and we’re grateful for the progress that Parliament has already made in ratifying the agreement. And as the Prime Minister and I discussed today, our administration is working earnestly with leaders in the Congress of the United States to approve the USMCA this summer.
So I’m anxious to hear your thoughts. We see the historic nature of this agreement, not only in its conventions, but issues like intellectual property, digital trade, currency policy, and labor standards have all been incorporated. And the people of Canada and the United States know that this agreement is superior to its predecessor in every way, in the interests of jobs and growth and working people and investment and all the things that we want to improve — the economies of our country and yours.
So I just wanted to thank you for all of your efforts in helping to bring this about. I want to thank the Prime Minister and his entire team for the way that they worked in good faith to reach this agreement. And I’m here to pledge to you that we’re going to work closely with Canada, with our neighbors in Mexico, and we’re going to get the USMCA done this year.