Trade has been a hot topic this week in DC, but not just trade with China. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that a deal is close to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has yet to be sent to the House as the White House is waiting for assurance from Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it has the votes to get through. Northeast Indiana Congressman Jim Banks said that her concerns about passing the agreement are nothing but political.
“Who would benefit the most? Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States of America, heading into an election year, and Nancy Pelosi can’t get beyond that. That’s what is holding up this deal. If and when this is ratified and passed and goes into effect, it could potentially be the biggest win that President Trump has had his entire administration. That will only help him moving into election day.”
Banks said the deal is a good one for agriculture and manufacturing. He added the many moderate Democrats were calling on Pelosi to bring the deal to a vote, including House Ag Chairman Collin Peterson from Minnesota. Peterson had this to say on Wednesday…
“I’m supporting this agreement. I have been from the time it came out because I told them if you don’t screw anything up, I’ll support it. That’s basically what they did. It doesn’t really do a whole lot of good for agriculture, but it doesn’t do any harm.”
He doesn’t believe that the deal has the votes right now.
“Our caucus has demands about labor, environment, these things that they always have demands about; those people are never going to vote for it anyway. The question is whether you can get this thing to a point where you’ve got 100 Democrats that are not only supporting but enthusiastic about it in order for the speaker to bring it up, but I think right now if it was brought to the floor it would fail.”
Tomorrow, we’ll get the perspective from the Senate side with Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Chairman Pat Roberts from Kansas.