By Bill Tremblay
The American Congress must ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) if it wants to boost its manufacturing exports, according to Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States of America.
On Aug. 1, Pence visited The Manitowoc Company’s facility in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania to promote the pending trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
“To keep the American economy rolling, President Trump and I believe we need to level the playing field for American workers by having trade deals that put American jobs and American workers first,” Pence told a crowd of about 1,000 Manitowoc employees. “That’s just what we’re here to do.”
A modernized NAFTA
The USMCA, if approved, would modernize NAFTA, the tri-lateral trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
According to the Trump administration, the trade deal would secure access to the United States’ two largest export markets, and ensure North America’s manufacturing competitiveness.
“The time has come. The opportunity is before us to pass the largest trade deal in American history. The time has come for congress to pass the US Mexico Canada Agreement,” Pence said. “I’ve been travelling all across the country telling the story of the USMCA and the difference it’s going to make.”
A call for help
During his speech, Pence called upon his audience of Manitowoc employees to contact their representatives in Washington, DC and request that the USMCA is ratified.
“Mexico already started to make the changes to labour laws they agreed to. Canada’s done the same thing,” Pence said. “Now it’s time for congress to do its job and approve the USMCA. And approve it this year.
“People working in manufacturing need to be heard from.”
‘That giant sucking sound’
A study by the United States International Trade Commission shows the USMCA would create an additional 176,000 American jobs and add $68 billion to its economy. Overall, there are 12 million American jobs across the country that are supported by trade with Canada and Mexico.
As well, equipment manufacturers alone support 1.5 million jobs in the US and Canada.
“When congress passes the USMCA, I promise the days of that giant sucking sound from south of the border are over,” Pence said. “The truth is, under the USMCA, as the President says, ‘the American worker is going to win like never before.’ But we have to get it done. The clock is ticking.”
Pence talks Manitowoc
Pence also praised Manitowoc for its commitment to manufacturing in the United States.
“We’re here today at Manitowoc’s largest manufacturing facility where this company has invested nearly $50 million in the last three years alone and hired nearly 350 new workers right at this site. That’s real progress,” Pence said. “Manitowoc has worked hard to bring design and manufacturing jobs back to the United States.”
The Vice President also applauded the creation of the MLC100 — Manitowoc’s latest crane model.
“The MLC100 is the only 10 ton crawler crane that’s made in the USA,” Pence said.
“You’ve show them that American innovation is alive and well by launching nearly 20 new products in the last three years. You’ve stepped up. You’re a story of American success.”
‘A true champion’
Alongside Manitowoc, Pence’s speech was also hosted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Denis Slater, president of AEM, praised Pence’s efforts to boost American manufacturing.
“The vice president is really a true champion for manufacturing and the men and women who make America,” Slater said. “He and President Trump know that when the equipment manufacturing industry is strong, America is strong also.”