SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement View Alerts

House overwhelmingly approves Trump trade deal with Mexico and Canada

'Critics said it couldn’t be done, but he made it happen.'

Posted: Dec 19, 2019 4:00 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2019 4:10 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after its historic impeachment votes, the Democratic-led House gave President Donald Trump an overwhelming bipartisan victory Thursday on a renegotiated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

By a 385-41 vote, the House approved a bill that puts in place terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued the following statement on the House passage of USMCA:

“Today’s vote is a strong step forward to ratifying USMCA, strengthening our relationship with Iowa's top two trading partners, Mexico and Canada.

“For over a year, I stood alongside President Trump, Vice President Pence, and key stakeholders in Iowa to call on Congress to ratify USMCA. This is a balanced trade agreement that will benefit families, farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses all across our state.

“I want to thank President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer, and the entire administration for their work so far. Now, it’s critical for the U.S. Senate to move quickly to vote and ratify the agreement.”

Minnesota Congressman Jim Hagedorn said this about his vote for the trade deal:

“The USMCA is a long overdue, much needed and well-deserved bipartisan win for the American people. The agreement is a huge win for our farmers, businesses, workers and families in Minnesota’s First District and throughout the nation. It will open new markets, expand economic opportunity and create high-wage jobs, build momentum for trade deals with China and other nations, and help sustain our rural way of life in southern Minnesota.”

Iowa Congressman Steve King said this on the House floor about his support for USMCA:

“Thank you, Madame Speaker, and I thank the Gentleman from Texas, the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, and perhaps one of the most successful in my modern time.

I’m looking at this USMCA trade agreement. I’ve said from the beginning that I would not have opened up NAFTA. It was good for Iowa agriculture, it was good for Iowa manufacturing, it was good for America in many areas. But the President promised that he would open it up, and that he would prevail in his negotiations. He has followed through and he has kept his word.

For a year and a half, I’ve been having discussions with every entity that I can find that has been affected by this trade agreement. They all say, ‘we are better off!’ They might say ‘we are marginally better off,” but they say ‘we are better off!’ Until you get to dairy, where we are a lot, lot, better off than we were in the past.

This is a terrific trade agreement. Whatever the nuances were afterwards were some changes that didn’t affect, I don’t think, the district that I represent. But what this amounts to is this: It’s a huge victory for the President of the United States, for Americans everywhere, for Iowans in the 4th Congressional District which is the number one agriculture producing district in all of America.

We are happy, we are delighted, we are thankful to have this Christmas present coming to us. We say, ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. President.’ Merry Christmas, America.”

 

Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer also supported the deal and made this statement:

“I am happy to see and be a part of bipartisan passage of the UMSCA. This is a win for Iowa’s farmers who will have certainty now that the president will not fulfill his reckless threat to pull out of NAFTA and cost us even more with our trading partners. With the new provisions included, this ensures we will stop bleeding American jobs to other countries and will work as well to start to bring these jobs back home.”

The legislation passed after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her colleagues won key concessions from an administration anxious to pass the trade deal before next year’s election season makes that task more difficult.

The deal is projected to have only a modest impact on the economy. But it gives lawmakers from both parties the chance to support an agreement sought by farmers, ranchers and business owners anxious to move past the months of trade tensions that have complicated spending and hiring decisions.

The GOP-controlled Senate probably will take up the legislation when members return to Washington after the holidays and after dealing with impeachment.

Trump made tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement a hallmark of his presidential run in 2016 as he tried to win over working-class voters in states such as Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

“Critics said it couldn’t be done, but he made it happen. Another promise made, another promise kept,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Some said the agreement did not do enough to prevent U.S. jobs from relocating to Mexico, but it won praise from Democrats who have routinely voted against prior trade agreements.

“Twenty-six years ago, I opposed NAFTA with every bone in my body," said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. “I never thought the day would come when we would have the opportunity to right some of the wrongs in that agreement."

Pelosi said the agreement was “light years" ahead of what the administration negotiated with Canada and Mexico. “We knew we could do better," Pelosi said.

The original NAFTA phased out nearly all tariffs on goods produced and traded within North America. It was extraordinary because it linked two wealthy, developed countries with a poor, developing country. Since then, trade with Canada and Mexico has increased more rapidly than trade with most other countries.

Democrats for years have charged that NAFTA led to massive losses of high-paying manufacturing jobs in the U.S. as companies moved production to low-wage Mexico. Trump distinguished himself from free-trade Republicans in the presidential primary with his NAFTA-bashing rhetoric, and his administration got Canada and Mexico to negotiate a rewrite.

The International Trade Commission projected in April that the agreement would boost the economy by $68 billion and add 176,000 jobs six years after taking effect.

Some of the biggest impacts would be felt in the U.S. automotive industry. The agreement aims to see more cars produced where workers earn an average of at least $16 an hour.

The commission found that the new agreement would create 30,000 jobs in American auto parts plants. On the down side, the commission found the pact would increase the cost of pickup trucks and cars. That would hurt demand and reduce the number of jobs in factories that assemble cars by about 1,500.

Business and farm groups had been hitting the airwaves and the halls of Congress to get lawmakers to support the pact, putting pressure on Democrats to work with the administration even as labor unions remained wary that the new deal represented much of an improvement from NAFTA.

Trump, at times, seemed resigned to the assessment that the two sides would never reach a compromise. “She's incapable of moving it,” Trump said a few weeks ago about Pelosi.

Behind the scenes, Trump’s lead negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, was working with House Democrats on changes to address their concerns. The agreement includes a process that could lead to inspections of factories and facilities in Mexico that are not living up to labor obligations.

It also secures more than $600 million for environmental problems in the NAFTA region. It scrapped giving pharmaceutical companies 10 years' protection from cheaper competition in a category of ultra-expensive drugs called biologics, which are used to fight such illnesses as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

In the end, the AFL-CIO endorsed the pact, as did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other major business groups.

Critics said they understood the renegotiated trade deal was an improvement over NAFTA, but they said it wasn’t enough. “American jobs will still flow to other countries,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.

The deal gave Democrats a chance to show constituents they weren’t focused solely on impeachment, particularly first-term lawmakers such as Reps. Kendra Horn, D-Okla., and Joe Cunningham, D-S.C. They represent districts won by Trump in 2016. “I promised the people of the low country I’d come to Washington to work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the White House and anyone else necessary to find bipartisan, common-sense solutions to issues impacting our district,” Cunningham said during debate. He said the bills' passage ''is a major step in that direction.”

Republicans made clear that they weren’t going to allow for an easy pivot.  “The bipartisan nature of this deal that we are here discussing today cannot cover up what happened on this floor last night,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Some Republicans also grumbled that Democrats took too long to get the agreement across the finish line, but many were quite happy with the result. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., said the pact reminded him of when he would write a letter to Santa, and it would be answered with most of the presents he wanted on Christmas morning.  “This is certainly one of those times when the letter to Santa Claus actually got answered,” Kelly said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 480845

Reported Deaths: 6511
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin997381576
Ramsey42744796
Dakota35818383
Anoka33010383
Washington21862253
Stearns18683200
St. Louis14655262
Scott13119107
Wright12414114
Olmsted1170088
Sherburne866373
Carver756340
Clay683686
Rice664291
Blue Earth587235
Kandiyohi576674
Crow Wing514780
Chisago493644
Otter Tail479470
Benton441390
Winona414248
Mower400231
Douglas390768
Nobles385347
Goodhue383368
Polk341062
McLeod336349
Beltrami335350
Morrison321846
Lyon311543
Itasca308545
Becker307841
Isanti303453
Carlton298544
Steele297611
Pine280616
Freeborn276823
Nicollet252341
Todd244030
Brown240737
Le Sueur230520
Mille Lacs225747
Cass218124
Waseca206917
Meeker205534
Martin186728
Wabasha18543
Roseau178317
Hubbard159740
Houston156414
Dodge15124
Renville147340
Redwood146327
Fillmore13648
Chippewa135735
Cottonwood133520
Wadena128120
Pennington127016
Faribault121716
Aitkin117833
Sibley116410
Rock115513
Watonwan11518
Kanabec106719
Pipestone100724
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9418
Jackson92510
Swift87218
Pope7885
Marshall76815
Stevens7378
Lake72617
Clearwater71514
Lac qui Parle68216
Wilkin66510
Koochiching61711
Big Stone5123
Lincoln5032
Grant4888
Norman4648
Mahnomen4377
Unassigned43668
Kittson40721
Red Lake3544
Traverse3015
Lake of the Woods2131
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359747

Reported Deaths: 5357
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57625545
Linn20536311
Scott18203205
Black Hawk16187286
Woodbury14875211
Johnson1374173
Dubuque13480194
Dallas1123790
Pottawattamie10716140
Story1012945
Warren550271
Clinton540783
Cerro Gordo531080
Webster515686
Marshall493772
Sioux491568
Buena Vista469736
Des Moines455059
Muscatine446789
Wapello4261107
Jasper406865
Plymouth393377
Lee373551
Marion356969
Jones293854
Henry292535
Carroll284048
Bremer276554
Crawford272035
Boone258230
Washington253145
Benton250454
Mahaska223145
Jackson220438
Dickinson216338
Tama211564
Kossuth206954
Clay192925
Hamilton191641
Delaware188539
Winneshiek186926
Fayette184033
Buchanan183630
Page181619
Hardin179638
Wright179131
Harrison178969
Cedar175522
Clayton168153
Butler165731
Floyd162439
Mills162420
Cherokee153535
Madison153418
Poweshiek153429
Hancock146529
Lyon145441
Iowa143823
Allamakee143644
Appanoose138447
Grundy138230
Jefferson137532
Winnebago137530
Calhoun133010
Cass132448
Mitchell130040
Louisa127941
Union125931
Chickasaw124613
Sac123718
Emmet120740
Shelby119933
Franklin118319
Humboldt116725
Guthrie116028
Montgomery104036
Palo Alto103921
Howard102421
Clarke99220
Keokuk97529
Unassigned9300
Monroe92628
Adair91626
Ida90732
Pocahontas85419
Davis82223
Monona81525
Greene76610
Lucas73121
Osceola70014
Worth6907
Taylor66312
Fremont5869
Decatur5729
Van Buren55818
Ringgold51416
Wayne48621
Audubon4839
Adams3244
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 19°
Mason City
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 19°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 18°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 16°
Charles City
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 19°
Minor snow chances into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Aaron's Thursday Evening Forecast

Image

Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be reviewed tomorrow

Image

Minnesota announces new vaccine timeline

Image

Assisted Living allowing visitors

Image

Iowa Vaccine rollout timeline

Image

Catalytic Converter Thefts Continue

Image

Community Kitchen Serves More Meals During The Pandemic

Image

MercyOne North Iowa Wait List For Vaccine

Image

LTC Facilities Advocate For Vaccinations

Image

02-25-2021 for Bri

Community Events