Trump’s two historic trade deals approved in same week

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

This week in Washington, D.C., President Donald J. Trump signed Phase One of a new trade agreement with China. On Friday, Jan. 16, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement was approved by the Senate by an 89-10 vote.

Sen. Joni Ernst spoke with reporters on Friday about what the agreements will mean to Iowa farmers and manufacturers.

“For months, Speaker Pelosi blocked the USMCA,” Ernst said. She added that when the House passed the agreement, the Senate acted immediately to ratify it and send it to the desk of President Donald J. Trump. “We are wasting no time.”

Canada and Mexico are America’s two biggest trade partners. Making a better deal for the United States, in trading with these fellow North American countries, has been a priority for Trump.

“It is such a big agreement for all of us,” Ernst said. “This is a really big trade deal with Canada and Mexico.”

In addition to strengthening trading ties with Mexico, it is another step in improving the U.S.’s relationship with that country. This could lead to better cooperation in protecting America’s southern border, as it pertains to violence from drug cartels.

“There is a heightened level of cooperation between our two countries when it comes to those drug cartels and the exploitation of drug cartels with human trafficking,” Ernst said.

Closer to home, Gov. Kim Reynolds declared January as “Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month.” The Governor has been actively involved in this issue for four years and serves as an honorary board member for the Network Against Trafficking and Slavery.

“We must join together to prevent human trafficking and end this unspeakable crime in our state, nation, and around the world,” stated Gov. Reynolds. “Having more eyes and ears available in every community can help government officials, educators, social workers, hotel staff, and law enforcement officers respond more effectively. We must let human trafficking victims know that we’re fighting for their freedom and a better way of life.”

The Governor has also expressed her thoughts on passage of the USMCA and what it can do for Iowa.

“Iowa and the entire nation will reap the benefits of USMCA for years to come,” Reynolds said. “Mexico and Canada are Iowa’s top two trading partners and a strong trade relationship is critical for the entire economy. I want to thank President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer, and the entire administration for their work to promote free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

“USMCA also builds on the positive movement we are seeing with China and Japan as a result of President Trump’s recent agreements. I look forward to working with President Trump to promote and expand markets for Iowa’s world-class products.”

Reynolds and Ernst were present in the Oval Office when President Trump signed phase one of the new deal with China on Jan. 15. According to Ernst, this phase of the agreement calls for China to purchase $200 billion of US goods and services, including $32 billion in farm goods and $77 billion in manufactured goods. The agreement has provisions that will ensure that China follows through, Ernst added.

These agreements with significant trading partners follows another one with Japan that was approved in December 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was over 29,200 on the day the Senate passed the China agreement. America’s unemployment rate is at 3.6 (Iowa is 2.6) as of October 2019.

The 10 Senators who voted against the China deal were Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, Markey, Reed, Schatz, Schumer, Whitehouse, Sanders and Toomey. Sen. Inhofe did not vote.