“As chairman of the Finance Committee, I’m leading the Senate effort . I’ve been involved in the passage of every U.S. free-trade agreement, and it’s never easy. Reorganizing a massive economic relationship affects many constituencies, and that’s inevitably complicated.
“I’ve met with congressional colleagues, as well as U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade officials, to discuss how our nations will secure legislative approval of USMCA. A significant roadblock is the administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum and retaliatory Canadian and Mexican tariffs on U.S. products. These levies are a tax on Americans, and they jeopardize USMCA’s prospects of passage in the Mexican Congress, Canadian Parliament and U.S. Congress. Canadian and Mexican trade officials may be more delicate in their language, but they’re diplomats. I’m not. If these tariffs aren’t lifted, USMCA is dead. There is no appetite in Congress to debate USMCA with these tariffs in place.
“Many Americans have been harmed by retaliatory tariffs. Mexican tariffs on U.S. pork, to take one example, have lowered the value of live hogs by $12 an animal. Iowa is the top pork-producing state in the country. That means jobs, wages and communities are hurt every day these tariffs continue—as I hear directly from Iowans. It’s time for the tariffs to go.
“Earlier this year U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the House Ways and Means Committee that failing to pass USMCA this year would damage the credibility of America’s global trade agenda, particularly the efforts to secure a deal with China. He’s right.
“USMCA is good for the environment, for workers, for jobs and for nearly every sector of America’s economy. I hope Washington rises to the occasion.”
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