Washington, D.C. –Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) by an overwhelming vote of 385-41. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) released this statement following passage:
“While today’s vote was needlessly delayed by partisan politics, I am grateful that Speaker Pelosi finally brought USMCA up for a vote. Despite House Democrats’ overtly-partisan obsession with impeachment, the President kept his eye on the ball and delivered a huge win for our country.
“USMCA is expected to result in an additional $2.2 billion in annual agricultural exports from the United States. Perhaps most importantly, today’s vote provides a much-needed element of certainty for our farmers and ranchers who have suffered under a 6-year slump in the farm economy.
“Put simply, this historic agreement would not have happened without the leadership and determination of President Trump. He delivered on his promise, and the American people are better off for it.”
Today’s vote is the culmination of almost 3 years of work on the part of House Agriculture Committee Republicans and the Trump Administration. Just last Monday, Ranking Member Conaway led a group of 159 members of the Republican conference, including GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise, Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady, in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging immediate consideration and passage of this vital trade agreement.
In September 2018, then-Chairman Conaway and the House Agriculture Committee held a roundtable with USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Gregg Doud, and USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney, to discuss the administration’s trade agenda, including progress on renegotiating NAFTA. The committee also held a similar roundtable with industry in November 2017.
In October 2017, a committee delegation traveled to Ottawa, Canada, to press negotiators on some of the sticking points between the U.S. and Canada. This followed a hearing in July 2017 where several industry partners expressed their concerns and hopes for NAFTA renegotiation. In May 2017, the committee hosted an initial roundtable with Sec. Perdue and Amb. Lighthizer on trade, particularly on renegotiating NAFTA.
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