WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, is calling on House Democrats to “be reasonable” and “act quickly” to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement before the week is out.
“The agreement would create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Grassley says. “The agreement would help raise wages for Americans. The agreement would be particularly beneficial for Iowa farmers and the state’s overall economy.” It’s been more than a year since the leaders of the three nations signed the agreement, but it still needs Congressional approval.
Grassley says a compromise is close. “But I am worried that if a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, the USMCA will not be ratified this year,” he says. Grassley says the scope of the trade deal is far-reaching, and for example would pump a $30 billion investment into the auto industry, while also bringing a significant boost to farmers.
“It gets our agricultural dairy products into Canada, a place they’ve been practically banished under NAFTA,” Grassley says. “It’s been very difficult to get our quality wheat into Canada. That will be helped.” Grassley met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi four months ago and he says she was very much in favor of ratifying the USMCA.
Some critics say the Democrat-led House is dragging its feet on the agreement in order to keep the Trump Administration from claiming it as a victory. “There’s a lot of things you could put in the category of the Democrats not wanting the president to have a win, but I don’t think this would be one of them,” Grassley says. “On the other hand, I think voters would hold the Democrats accountable if they don’t act.”
Grassley says passage of the trade deal would be much larger than any one political party, saying it needs to be delivered for the benefit of the American people.