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Following Passage of USMCA, Grassley Thanks Staff

January 16,2020

Statement for the Record
by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Chairman, Senate Finance
Committee

Thursday, January 16,
2020

It’s
no secret around here that staff work is key to any senator’s success. It often
goes unnoticed and unthanked. But today, as the United States-Mexico-Canada
Agreement Implementation Act passes Congress, I’d like to express my
appreciation to the many Senate staff who work for the people of Iowa and the
entire country.

Foremost
among them are Kolan Davis, my Finance Committee staff director and longtime
advisor of 35 years, Jeff Wrase, my deputy staff director, and Nasim Fussell,
my chief international trade counsel on the committee. Their thoughtful,
prudent advice and hard work were crucial to helping create the conditions that
allow for nearly-unanimous passage today.

Nasim
led my trade staff on the Finance Committee. Her leadership of several other key
staff, including Mayur Patel, Brian Bombassaro, Andrew Brandt, Rory Heslington,
Grace Kim and Michael Pinkerton, and all of their many late nights working at
the office, are among the top reasons why this modernized trade agreement
wasn’t just negotiated with Canada and Mexico, but will actually become law and
soon take effect. Their diligent work with their Democratic counterparts, as
well as the Administration, is evidenced in the overwhelming vote USMCA
received.

My
chief of staff, Aaron Cummings, legislative director, James Rice, and director
of scheduling, Jennifer Heins, provided consistent guidance and helpful input
on USMCA throughout negotiations that helped me do the job I needed to do for
us to get to this point. I’m grateful for their standing by my side this past
year and going above and beyond for the people of Iowa.

I’d
also like to thank my communications and press staff, including Michael Zona,
Taylor Foy, George Hartmann, Nicole Tieman, Melissa Kearney and Katelyn
Schultz, for helping me communicate the many benefits of this trade deal to
Iowans and all Americans. Their work to deliver that message to the grassroots
of this country helped create the public pressure needed to encourage Congress
to act and ratify USMCA.

We
all know that no legislating happens in the Senate without bipartisanship.
That’s why today I say congratulations and thank you to Ranking Member Wyden
and his staff for all their hard work. They are Joshua Sheinkman, staff
director, Mike Evans, deputy staff director, Jayme White, chief advisor on
international competitiveness and innovation, and Greta Peisch, Sally Laing,
Virginia Lenahan and Rachel Lang.

Of
course, also critical to the bill’s passage were Ambassador Bob Lighthizer and
his hardworking team at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative,
particularly John Melle and Maria Pagan.

Getting
the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO to both endorse this trade deal was no
easy feat, and it took both sides’ good faith efforts to get us here.

You’ve
heard me extol all the good that USMCA will do for this nation’s farmers,
ranchers, manufacturers and workers of all stripes. Hundreds of thousands of
jobs, billions of dollars added to the economy, new market access and a
framework for the future of international trade. It’s these staff members who
also deserve to share in the nation’s gratitude and celebration.

Thank
you all.



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