WASHINGTON DC (January 7, 2020) — Prepared opening Statement by Senator Charles "Chuck" Grassley, Chairman, Senate Finance Committee, Executive Session on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementing Act:
The committee will come to order. We are meeting today to consider HR5430, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act.
Before we start, I’d like to welcome Sen [Ben] Sasse [R-NE] to the committee. He’s joining us on a very important day, and I’m glad to have him here.
On December 13, 2019, the President submitted the bill to implement USMCA to Congress.
Under fast-track rules, the committee cannot amend the bill.
We will vote today only on whether to report the bill.
Before we vote, senators who wish to make statements may do so.
In the interest of time, I ask that statements be limited to three minutes.
After statements, I will introduce staff and administration officials here to provide an overview of the bill and answer any questions.
We will then vote on the bill.
President Trump promised to deliver a strong, updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that would reflect the realities of the twenty-first century.
He promised that it would command broad support.
President Trump delivered.
The House of Representatives voted with overwhelming bipartisan support to approve the USMCA bill.
Now the Senate must act.
I’m confident that this bill is going to make it to the President’s desk, and here’s why:
USMCA will bring much-needed certainty, and real benefits to America’s farmers, workers, and businesses.
Farmers are getting better and more reliable market access, which they badly need.
Workers will see thousands of new jobs, particularly in high-wage manufacturing industries.
Businesses will have an agreement that reflects the reality of modern commerce, including for the $1.3 trillion US digital economy.
USMCA corrects the enforcement flaws that plagued NAFTA, and ensures that the parties will be held accountable to their commitments.
USMCA has the support of hundreds of organizations representing a wide range of the economy, including agriculture groups, businesses, and labor groups.
I would like to enter into the record a non-exhaustive list representative of this support.
The road we traveled to arrive at this meeting today tested my patience at times.
And, there are some aspects of this bill I don’t particularly like.
But as I reflect on how we got here, I’m proud of the hard work of many individuals that made it possible to achieve a strong agreement, and a bill that could garner broad support.
The bill before us today has something in it for everyone, and it’s not often that we can say that about an implementing bill.
I ask my colleagues to vote with me to favorably report this bill.
Let’s get this done.