President Presses Congress to Pass New Reciprocal Trade Legislation

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

“Another historic trade blunder was the catastrophe known as NAFTA,” he said. “I have met the men and women of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire and many other states whose dreams were shattered by NAFTA. For years, politicians promised them they would negotiate for a better deal. But no one ever tried — until now.

“Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or USMCA — will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers, bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: ‘made in the USA.'”


In addition, Trump called on Congress to pass the United States Reciprocal Trade Act. That is, if another country slaps tariffs on American products, “We can charge them the exact same tariff on the same product that they sell to us.”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement he’s hopeful Congress will ratify trade agreements and reform the immigration system.

“Farmers and ranchers across the country need reforms to our immigration system, and we echo President Trump’s call for Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to preserve and build on the export gains with our North American neighbors,” Duvall said.

“At the same time, we support bipartisan efforts to rebuild and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, including broadband technology in rural areas.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston said in a statement that Congress needs to finalize the USMCA.

“With 96% of our potential customers living outside the United States, there’s no policy issue more important to American cattle producers than access to foreign markets,” she said. “The sooner we can secure our access to Mexico and Canada, the sooner we can focus our time, energy, and resources on improving our access to lucrative markets in Asia and Europe.”


Trump called on both parties to come together to rebuild infrastructure.

“I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill — and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future,” he said.

Trump touted what he said is a revolution in American energy production, as the United States has become the No. 1 oil and natural gas producer in the world.

“And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy,” he said, but did not mention biofuels in the address.

Trump called on lawmakers to come together.

“But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good,” he said.

“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”