Contact: Sarah Abel
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind and the House of Representatives voted to pass the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in a largely bipartisan manner.
“For months, my colleagues and I worked to get a trade deal that ensures a level playing field for Wisconsin farmers, workers, and families, keeps jobs in the United States, and makes this deal enforceable. I’m proud of the work we’ve done. This deal is a great example of what can be accomplished when people work across the aisle to get things done and should serve as the template for all future trade agreement negotiations. USMCA is a renewed commitment between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and I look forward to working with our trade allies to continue advancing a North American economy that creates good-paying jobs and is in line with our values,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I now encourage Senate Majority Leader McConnell to not let this be yet another bipartisan bill to die in the Senate. Let’s move this deal across the finish line so Wisconsin dairy farmers can finally get access to these new markets.”
“With Mexico being one of our biggest export markets, we are thrilled to see USMCA move a huge step closer to being implemented,” said Cindy Brown, President of
Chippewa Valley Bean Co., Inc. “Specifically, we appreciate Rep. Kind’s tireless efforts to obtain robust enforcement language, this gives growers certainty that they will not encounter non-tariff barriers.”
“Pork producers are happy to see USMCA move across the finish line. Canada and Mexico import 40% of US pork exports. This agreement gives pork producers in Wisconsin the continued certainty that they need to export into these vital markets. We thank Ron Kind for his hard work to ensure that we retained zero-duty access into both markets,” said Howard (AV) Roth, President-Elect of National Pork Producers, from Wauzeka, WI.
“Thanks to the work of the Teamsters, House Democrats, and our labor allies, we finally have a trade deal that protects worker interests and enforces labor standards,” said Bill Carroll, Teamsters Joint Council 39 Political & Legislative Coordinator. “The revised USMCA is better than the initially signed agreement and a significant improvement over the original NAFTA.”
“This holiday season will be a bit brighter for America’s dairy farmers as today’s vote brings us one step closer to finalizing USMCA and securing a more certain future for the dairy industry,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation. “Wisconsin’s dairy industry appreciates the work that Congressman Kind has invested to ensure USMCA will provide expanded market opportunities and a more level playing field for dairy exports, in a manner that will be effectively enforced to help ensure those gains are realized. Now we are counting on the Senate to act quickly and finalize USMCA in order to deliver its improvements to North American trade.”
“Wisconsin Farm Bureau appreciates Ron Kind’s work on the USMCA as part of the Ways and Means Committee. Farm Bureau members are optimistic about the future of the USMCA and subsequent trade agreements that will continue to support our farmers and rural communities,” said Joe Bragger, President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, from Independence, WI.
Congressman Kind is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Trade and the co-chair of the New Democrat Coalitions’ Trade Task Force. The Ways and Means Committee is the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. In these roles, Congressman Kind worked diligently with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to improve the agreement that was negotiated by the Administration last fall.
In March of 2017, before negotiations had even commenced, Congressman Kind called on the Administration to renegotiate NAFTA to increase dairy access into Canada for Wisconsin farmers. This win was included agreement allowing our dairy farmers to have expanded access into the Canadian market. Additionally, he also demanded that the revised USMCA be fully enforceable, including stronger labor and environmental protections. These changes were included in USMCA creating a new gold standard for trade enforcement. Rep. Kind also called for the end of misguided metal tariffs against our allies, the 232 tariffs on Mexico and Canada, which were removed before the ratification of the agreement. Lastly, Rep. Kind successfully called for ending the Administration’s attempts to take more authority from Congress in the setting of tariffs by unilaterally changing the de minimis threshold for both Canada and Mexico.