On Nov. 30, 2018, President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, commonly called the USMCA. The trilateral agreement was designed to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA with a modern trade deal that recognizes the technological advancements of the past two decades and creates a fairer playing field for U.S. workers, manufacturers, farmers and small businesses. With a projected impact of 176,000 new jobs and more than $68 billion in new economic growth, I continue to push House leadership to vote USMCA into law right away.
Unfortunately, as is often the case in D.C., good policy is falling victim to politics. By Congressional standards, the USMCA has no significant opposition. The economic benefits are undeniable, and updating NAFTA is widely recognized as a win for U.S. workers and businesses. So why is the bill not being rushed to the House floor? Because to some people, denying the president a "win" is more important than the economic success of our citizens. The vitriol on full display in Congress and across the media has blinded some to the real needs of our country and caused the democrat majority in the House to balk at anything the far left might consider beneficial to Trump.
As members of Congress, we can't control what the media reports, nor should we. However, we can control how we react and how we chose to legislate. The USMCA should be an easy decision. From farmers to small businesses to manufactures, we will see increased productivity and more jobs. As our auto workers stand arm in arm, supporting each other for increased wages and better benefits, Congress is sitting on a bill that could add $34 billion in new auto manufacturing investment in the U.S. and 76,000 American auto jobs over five years. After decades of losing jobs to Mexico's low-wage system, the USMCA includes protections that prevent Mexico from undercutting our manufactures and depressing wage growth for U.S. workers. And, as our farmers continue to feed the world, this agreement gives our agriculture products better access to our biggest trading partners.
The Constitution encourages the freedom of thought and guarantees our right to express our opinions. With that comes disagreement and debate over the policies that shape our government which causes lawmaking to move slowly. However, when we can so clearly see the best path for the American people and the merits of a proposal are unquestionable, it is time to act. The USMCA needs to become law, and I will keep fighting until we accomplish that goal.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., shares his perspective each week on national issues, including ones that affect Missouri. He represents the state's 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office can be reached at 635-7232.