The New Trade Agreement: Braun Says Dems Shouldn't Delay the USMCA
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The United States Mexico Canada Agreement should be passed by the U.S. House quickly, said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). He said he is concerned that Democrats will want to take issue with some of its provisions, simply because it will be seen as a "Trump victory".
Braun, on Bloomberg TV, said he hopes Democrats won't play political games with the agreement, which essentially replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"It better be the highest priority here because that is the most important thing. We do more trade with both Canada and Mexico than we do with China, and they are generally friendly in nature," said Braun.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) May 21, 2019
Pres. Trump lifted the tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum, which may have been due to pressure from Republican lawmakers whose states were hurt by the reciprocal tariffs. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), praised the end of the tariffs earlier this week.
“This is welcome news in Indiana, and I commend President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for working with our Canadian and Mexican partners to reach this necessary agreement. Lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, and ending the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, will provide much needed relief to Indiana’s manufacturers and farmers," said Young.
"This agreement will allow the United States to work in close concert with our Mexican and Canadian allies to focus on the fundamental source of aluminum and steel overcapacity: China.”
Braun said the USMCA was to address some long-term, out-of-date trading practices, and now that the tariffs have been lifted, he believes the House should address the agreement immediately.
"I'm hoping that it isn't used as a political football by the other side of the aisle because it's gonna be a Trump victory," he said. "I would hope that Speaker Pelosi gets it across through their House with dispatch because Americans expect it."
Pelosi said she would appoint two Democrat delegates to talk with trade chief Robert Lighthizer, to address labor, and enforcement issues within the agreement.
"If it is reasonable and not intended to delay or torpedo the agreement, I think it's worthy to discuss," said Braun. "If it's gonna delay in any fashion, I would view that as a political strategy and I don't think as much time as we've spent on it to get it to where it is now that we should put up with that and I hope the House doesn't do that."
PHOTO: Mike Braun on Twitter