As agriculture lobbies Congress to introduce and pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, there could be a battle brewing over the ending of U.S. trade tariffs. Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says there is no way Congress will consider the new North American trade deal until President Trump lifts the tariffs that have caused other countries to implement retaliatory tariffs that have hit U.S. farmers hard. Grassley told reporters this week that Trump has to end the steel and aluminum tariffs in place on our North American trading partners before Congress will take up the USMCA Agreement.
Grassley says tariffs could also make it more difficult to get a trade deal done with China. Grassley was expecting to meet Thursday face-to-face with Trump at the White House to talk trade. The long-time Senator says tariffs are “keeping the president on the cusp of a big win” with Canada and Mexico, especially as he’s days or weeks away from potentially establishing a trade agreement with China. An Associated Press report says the President is hesitant to remove the tariffs because he feels they’ve forced other countries to make deals more favorable to the U.S.
Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to bring USMCA up for a vote. Rep. Banks said, “Everybody agrees that our leaders should always fight for the best deal possible for American workers, farmers, and families and President Trump has done just that. After months of hard work by the President and his administration, a better deal than the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been negotiated. So why in the world would we hold it up when new investments, jobs, and prosperity are at risk? Speaker Pelosi, for the betterment of the American people, I ask you to put aside petty politics and bring the USMCA up for a vote.”