“USMCA is a win for Ohio,” U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) says.
Wenstrup made the statement in an email newsletter to constituents last week.
“After months of delay, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) finally passed the House, clearing a major hurdle toward adoption,” Wenstrup wrote.
The bill is now in the Senate before going to President Donald Trump for approval.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed USMCA, which places rules for moving products between the countries, on a vote of 385-41, The Ohio Star reported on Dec. 21.
House Democrats and the White House reportedly reached a deal on the USMCA earlier in December, and Democrats touted Trump’s agreement as being “infinitely better” than what was first proposed. The bipartisan vote passed Thursday even after Congress’s party-line impeachment vote of the president Wednesday.
In the newsletter, Wenstrup said the pending approval of USMCA means good news for local companies like General Tool Co. in Reading and American Micro Products in Batavia. The Clermont Chamber of Commerce held a small-business roundtable discussion to discuss the impact of USMCA, Wenstrup said. USMCA is expected to add $68 billion to the U.S. economy and 176,000 jobs.
Last Tuesday, Wenstrup ran an op-ed in the Washington Examiner touting the House’s passage of USMCA.
It’s been 25 years since our North American trade agreement was updated. Consumers are purchasing goods online and across borders more than ever before, and the updates in USMCA ensure American companies can take full advantage of digital trade by embracing innovations that push our economy forward. USMCA provides essential modernizations to our trade with Canada and Mexico by recognizing the growing presence and economic opportunity that digital trade has to offer American businesses.
USMCA also includes a new section dedicated to helping small and medium businesses. Small and medium businesses make up 98% of our nation’s exporters — it’s time we have a trade agreement that focuses on their needs. USMCA helps save these businesses time and money by streamlining customs procedures at our northern and southern borders so their products can be easily exported to our neighboring countries.
In addition to supporting innovation, small and medium businesses, and ushering North American trade into the 21st century, USMCA also brings balance back to our nation’s trade relationships with Canada and Mexico.
When the Senate finally votes on USMCA, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has pledged a support because of such worker protections as an anti-offshoring provision, which would be a first for him, The Star reported last month.
Brown said the “anti-offshoring provision is a worker-empowering, corporation-scaring enforcement innovation that amounts to the strongest-ever labor enforcement in a U.S. trade deal, and that’s why this will be the first trade agreement I’ve ever voted for.”
This was the first time Brown has supported a trade agreement in more than 25 years in the House and Senate.
– – –
Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.