KMA Lands: Grassley, Ernst, Axne hail USMCA agreement
December 10, 2019
(Washington) — Congressional representatives across KMAland are celebrating a deal reached on the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the deal with the White House on the modified USMCA Tuesday morning. Pelosi’s announcement came roughly an hour after House Democrats announced articles of impeachment against President Trump over the Ukrainian scandal. At a news conference, Pelosi was asked whether there was any coincidence with both announcements.
“No, it’s not a coincidence,” said Pelosi. “It’s just as we get to the end of a session, there have to be some decisions made. The timetable for impeachment is the timetable of the committees, and that came to an end with the hearing yesterday (Monday).”
Pelosi rejected comments that impeachment proceedings slowed action on the USMCA agreement in the Democrat-controlled House. She says the Trump administration’s original proposal on the agreement was “unacceptable.”
“We didn’t know what day it would be,” she said, “but the trade representative, Master (Bob) Lighthizer, who was quite remarkable to work with, he shared our values. He understood why we could not accept the Trump administration product.”
Iowa Senator Charles Grassley issued a statement, calling the announcement “long overdue and welcome news.” Grassley says he looks forward to reviewing the specific language, and expects committee members will be briefed in person this week. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, meanwhile, hailed the agreement, saying, quote, “Iowans in every corner of our state have been waiting far too long for Congress to act on the USMCA.” Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne also released a statement, saying she’s “pleased that the USMCA is ready.”
The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, signed by then-President Clinton in the 1990’s.