PLEASANT PRAIRIE–Vice President Mike Pence during a stop here today called on Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, saying it’s “a win for Wisconsin and a win for America.”
Pence, speaking at an America First Policies event at the Uline warehouse in Pleasant Prairie, urged attendees to contact Dems representing Wisconsin in Congress, singling out U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison.
“Tell the Democrats representing Wisconsin in Washington, D.C., that Wisconsin needs the USMCA,” Pence said.
But he said there’s no need to contact Republicans representing the state, as “they’re fighting every day for the USMCA.”
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, said at a Wispolitics.com DC Breakfast this morning that House Dems are “trying to get to ‘yes’” on the trade agreement.
“We’re not trying to kill this initiative simply because it’s a Trump initiative,” Moore. “We want to do the right thing for the country.”
Moore said some House Dems have concerns over labor standards and intellectual property provisions in the agreement.
Pence said the trade agreement would boost both manufacturing and agriculture in Wisconsin and the U.S.
“It’s a win in the city and on the farm, and it’s still sitting there on the speaker’s desk,” Pence said.
He predicted that if Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., brought the trade deal to the floor, it would pass with bipartisan support.
Pence drew applause several times during his address before a large crowd on Uline’s warehouse floor, particularly when highlighting economic gains made under President Trump.
“It’s been three years of action. It’s been three years of results. It’s been three years of promises made and promises kept,” Pence said. “And we’re just getting started.”
Pence was introduced by U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and U.S. Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain; they both praised the trade agreement.
Ahead of the stop, Dems and union officials gathered in Kenosha to slam what they called a string of broken promises from the Trump administration.
John Drew, a former UAW Local 72 president, charged Trump has used working people as props. He pointed to the president’s promise that he would save jobs at a Carrier Air Conditioner plant in Indianapolis only to see them sent to Mexico. Drew said Trump promised he would save a GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, telling people at a nearby rally not to sell their homes because the jobs were coming back, but it is still slated to close. And he noted the president attacked Harley-Davidson for producing more motorcycles overseas, and the company’s recent report showed earnings fell 24 percent in the quarter as tariffs and weak sales hurt the company’s bottom line.
The only promise Trump has kept, Drew said, was to cut taxes, but that has largely benefited the rich.
“Working people can’t afford four more years of broken promises,” Drew said. “We need a president who will hear our concerns and keep their word, not someone who sells us out.”
Pence had planned a stop in Marinette as part of the Wisconsin swing, but postponed the visit to instead join the president for his remarks on the situation along the Turkey-Syria border. It is the second time the ongoing situation in the Middle East impacted Pence’s Wisconsin visit. He was originally scheduled to make the Pleasant Prairie stop last week, but put it off to instead travel to Turkey to discuss a cease fire.
Fincantieri Mercury Marine spokesman Eric Denst said Pence postponing the stop was unfortunate, but understandable.
“Our country’s leaders often have to juggle many priorities, and changes to schedules happen,” he said. “We look forward to hosting the vice president at some point in the future. In the meantime, we are back to work giving the Navy a means through which to keep America and her interests safe.”
Before Pence’s address, panelists discussed the state of trade in the U.S. and the benefits the USMCA would bring.
Speaking on the panel were: U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah; Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board member Dave Daniels; and Atlas Tools & Die Works Chief Alignment Officer Zachary Mottl. Moderating was Curtis Ellis, policy director for America First Policies.
Grothman praised Trump for his work on the USMCA and for his efforts to address trade with China.
Grothman said the USMCA will help both manufacturing and agriculture, along with those who do business with those sectors.
Grothman accused Dem leadership in the House of playing politics on the trade deal by not bringing it to the floor for fear of giving Trump a win. He predicted 95 percent of Republicans would vote in favor of it, along with half of Democrats.
“In Washington, some people like to get things done while others like to play politics,” Grothman said. “I expected to vote on the trade deal six or seven months ago. This is a good enough deal.”
Watch video of the Dem newser here.