Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Finance Committee
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Today the United States, Mexico and Canada launch a new chapter in our historic partnership with entry into force of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.
Thanks to the decisive leadership of President Trump, the USMCA will open the door for robust economic growth. After hard-fought negotiations steered by Ambassador Bob Lighthizer, the USMCA brings to bear a trilateral trade agreement that will lift prosperity across North America.
The USMCA paves the way for freer markets and fairer trade. It replaces NAFTA and puts America in a better position to expand market access for U.S. workers, farmers and businesses. Specifically, USMCA modernizes rules of origin for autos, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, intellectual property rules, digital trade, financial services, customs, labor, environment and more.
As we enter into this agreement, the world is navigating uncertain times. The unprecedented public health crisis has turned the economy upside down. Now more than ever, our farmers, businesses and workers need and deserve certainty they can count on to turn things around and accelerate the economic recovery.
As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I’ll be keeping close eye on the implementation of this historic trade agreement. I want to ensure any kinks are ironed out with appropriate flexibility, taking into consideration unforeseen circumstances from the pandemic, such as auto makers and others who were shut down or repurposed operations to produce medical equipment, for example. I also will keep watch to hold accountable all stakeholders and ensure full compliance with the trade agreement. Now more than ever, North America must work together to harvest the fruits of the USMCA. That’s how we can foster investment, innovation and job creation for the 478 million people living in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimated the USMCA within five years would raise U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion, forecasting 176,000 new U.S. jobs. That’s music to the ears for everyone in America who has been hard hit from the pandemic’s economic fall-out.
Farmers in my state have enjoyed one of the best planting seasons in decades. However, our livestock, poultry and biofuels producers have faced catastrophic disruption to their operations since the virus swept across the country. Iowa is the nation’s number one producer of pork, eggs and corn. Our economy depends on exports to grow and flourish. America’s farmers depend on exports to pay their bills and earn a living. They want to grow and produce for the marketplace, not government bail-outs.
Today’s inauguration of the USMCA offers a bright ray of hope for North America to plow forward and plant the seeds for a robust economic recovery. A rising tide lifts all boats. I’m confident the USMCA will steer America’s workers, farmers and businesses to better days ahead.