Lawmakers Wednesday aired their frustrations about a trade agreement in limbo.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) shared her views, which we have broken down below.
AUDIO: Joni Ernst, U.S. Senator
United States officials announced the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) over a year ago. No further action has been taken since. Elected officials, farmers and other groups have become restless in waiting for the agreement to be brought up for a vote.
More than a handful of U.S. lawmakers voiced their frustrations, with regards to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, on the Senate floor Wednesday. Among the group was Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) who relays, “Iowans want USMCA now.”
“These hard working folks know the impact the USMCA will have on Iowa’s economy and the U.S. economy as a whole. There is no reason Iowans should be waiting in limbo for this to be ratified. This trade agreement is a win for the American people, plain and simple,” Ernst said.
Mexico has ratified the agreement, and Canada is “well on its way,” Ernst says. She asks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring this agreement up for a vote immediately.
“NAFTA was ratified in 1994. That was three years before WiFi became available to the public, five years before USB drives were invented, 12 years before the launch of Facebook and Twitter and 16 years before computer tablets were on sale. None of us are living with 1994 technology, so why should we be living with 1994 trade policy?” Ernst asks.
Senator Ernst believes, “Passing the USMCA will allow us to compete in today’s 21st century.”
“It will provide folks back home with certainty, certainty in a time where prices have been low and markets have been eroded,” Ernst said. “In 2018, we exported $6.6 billion worth of products to our neighbors to the north and to the south. Trade with Canada and Mexico directly increases the value of Iowa exports like beef, adding $70 in value to each head that comes from the state. And it’s not just our farmers who will benefit from the USMCA. It’s also our businesses and manufacturers,” Ernst said.