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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Debate on U.S. - Mexico- Canada...  CSPAN  December 19, 2019 8:58pm-10:30pm EST

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issue. if you could address that in a specific way, it would help every american in the u.s. >> voices from the road on c-span. earlier today, the house approved implementation of the u.s.-mexico-canada trade agreement as a replacement to nafta. next, a look at the house for debate before the final vote, starting with majority leader steny hoyer. minute. the peaker pro tempore: gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: this vote today, madam speaker, is a reminder was even while the house working on a serious matter regarding the president's abuses of ity for office, we are still working hard to deliver on our promises the american people to focus on economic opportunity. nd in this instance, we are working together. the usmca agreement before us is vast improvement over the first version shown to us by team.ent trump and his we worked together.
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that now includes critically mportant changes offered by democratic members in order to ensure that its enforcement stronger, that a protects american workers, and -- that it protects american workers and lowers health costs prescription costs. this will remove the uncertainty created by the tariff policies pursued by the president. i am glad that our house democratic working group was new provisions to ensure that america's trading uphold the rights of orkers to unionize and bargain collectively. i am glad this agreement includes strong, rapid response that willt mechanisms allow us to block imports filths where these -- facilities where these commitments are violated. and this congress will be closely monitoring the enforcement of this new certain that ake
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the administration is doing its ob and workers' rights are protected. i want to thank speaker pelosi, hairman neal of the ways and means committee, ambassador ighthizer who represented the administrati administration in his way.ghtforward, honest their hard work in negotiations with the white house to improve administration's initial draft were successful. i want to thank, as well, the members of the democratic who spent months working alongside the speaker nd chairman to fight for the provisions necessary to secure house support. agreement, madam speaker, is truly the product of ipartisanship with many victories for democrats which ll americans can be proud, and obviously victories for republicans as well. i hope we can approve it today bipartisan vote of support. and i reserve the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. california isfrom recognized. r. mccarthy: madam speaker, i yield myself one minute. the peaker pro tempore: gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mccarthy: in sharp contrast to yesterday, today is the first rally is chamber can behind an overwhelming, sinceisan legislative win the beginning of this congress. more than a year ago, president trump came together with the canada to mexico and sign a transformative trade deal trade ll revamp how we deals with our top two leading traders. espite delay after delay from our democratic colleagues, republicans never relented. that erstood months ago the united states-mexcio-canada agreement would deliver a much-deserved win for the worker. today is for them. farmers our hardworking who have early mornings and long maintaining their harvest
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and livestock. consumers who will be paying less money at the checkout for their goods. it will be for a generation of to icans that will be able enjoy a more prosperous and financially secure future for come.s to and because of that, republicans fought. we spoke to our constituents. deliver o the floor to speeches. i just did a report to see a yearr of times in the last usmca was mentioned on this floor. of all the times this was mentioned for this side of the aisle and 9% on the other. so i want to congratulate our members for never giving up. the oke about the wins usmca would deliver any chance e got, and we stayed in close contact with the administration to ensure it would be the right deal worthy of the american legacy. republicans also understood that the ratification of usmca would the united states to nger and we continued negotiate trade with china.
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i am glad today is here, but late. year mexico is our number one trader. canada is our number two, and is number three. for the last year, we've been trying to negotiate an agreement with china. our hand would only have been if today happened months ago. i am glad today is here but the delay has hurt us. we move forward, another goal that president trump continues o make progress on is our negotiations with china. today will make him stronger and help his hand from the last year. our economy is booming, expectations on a regular basis. thanks to this president and pushing ns in congress pro-growth policies, we're living through the best economy in a generation. regardless if you are a republican or democrat, the strength of this economy is is the fact d that worth celebrating.
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the ratification of the usmca the trajectory continues to move in the same positive direction. 25 years, a revised trade agreement was well past due. i know other presidents promised they would be able to do it. easy by any and task, but it's another promise kept by this president and we him for his work. when president trump ran for was a passing the usmca campaign promise. critics said it couldn't be done, but he made it happen. promise made. another promise kept. i also want to commend the from ible support he had congressional republicans, especially our ranking member, entire team and the he has on ways and means committee. . you never let the democrat push back hold you back from delivering a major win for the american worker. today is a today worth
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celebrating. it is a day this house after nearly a year finally checked their partisanship at the door to better the lishese of the american people. with that i ask that the gentleman from, mr. brady, be designated to control the remainder of our time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from texas reserve? mr. brady: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, madam speaker. i am delighted to stand in support of h.r. 5430, the united states-mexico-canada agreement implementing legislation. the legislation we are considering today is a result of almost 14 months of negotiations between house democrats and ambassador lighthizer. and i'm very proud of the outcome that we have reached. as a result of these months of work, the usmca is a transformative agreement that creates a new high water mark for u.s. trade deals going
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forward. when we assumed the majority this year, we were asked to consider a renegotiated nafta that had structural flaws in a key number of areas. enforcement, labor rights, environment, and access to medicines. let me start with enformente. which was the crux -- enforcement. which was the crux of the agreement. as i noted many times over the past year i did not vote for the original nafta. the chief reason was the lack of enforcibility mechanisms. during these past 25 years we have seen the shortcomings of the original agreement, much of which comes down to a lack of enforcement, in my view. house democrats working with ambassador lighthizer, we fixed many of those issues. the improvements to the usmca that we negotiated finally make the agreement enforceable by preventing a country from being able to block the formation of a dispute settlement panel.
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on labor, our trade agreements many cases have failed american workers. nafta has been symbolic of our broken promises to these workers. over 25 years of nafta there have been 39 petitions filed documenting the exploitation of workers and zero enforcement actions taken to remedy those violations. in close partnership with labor unions and with the robust support of ways and means democrats, support from republicans we negotiated improvements to the rules and to our monitoring regime and we established a new enforcement mechanism. on the rules we strengthened certain provisions and addressed obstacles to enforcement in many others. on monitoring for the first time we have created a proactive monitoring regime for labor obligations in a trade
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agreement. the implementing bill establishes an interagency labor committee that will actively monitor mexico's compliance and report back to congress. on enforcement, we negotiated a historic mechanism never included in a trade agreement before. as a result of democratic efforts, we will now have a facility specific, rapid response mechanism to address violations of key labor obligations. we have made great improvements to environmental provisions. the usmca will now include the highest environmental standards of any trade agreement in history, and will include a new customs verification agreement to enhance enforcement. the implementing bill, and i hope our colleagues in this chamber will hear this, the implementing bill also secures more than $600 million in funding for environmental
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problems in the nafta region, and re-authorizes the north american development bank. through the dedication of the working group members, the trade subcommittee members, we also secured important changes to usmca that preserve congress' ability to change u.s. law to address the crisis we face with respect to high prescription drug prices. these changes seattle new standard for u.s. trade agreements and demonstrate trade agreements can achieve broad bipartisan support if they empower workers, protect patients, provide access to affordable health care, and improve our shared environment. i'm proud of what we did here. 14 months of negotiating on every conceivable front we have improved the old nafta. i want to remind our colleagues today, if they decide that they are not going to vote for this piece of legislation in front of us, that's up to them.
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but one thing they cannot say is this is not much better than what we have had in the past. the options here are clear. you can vote for what we have negotiated, or you can embrace the status question. -- status quo. if this fails today that's precisely what you are doing, embracing the status quo. this agreement based upon the painstaking efforts of members of the committee and ambassador ghthizer, was done with full transparency, no surprises are in this legislation. i hope that today we can say at the end of the time limits that this was a successful negotiation of the largest trade agreement in american history. a hemispheric agreement that i think we can stand in support of with great pride today. and i reserve the balance of my ime.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. brady: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brady: yesterday with impeachment was a low mark in partisanship. today we have the opportunity to set a high mark in consensus and bipartisanship. today is a momentous day. we will timely consider the implementing bill that brings the trade relationship between the u.s., canada and mexico into the 21st century. this trade agreement is sorely needed. it's been over 25 years since we first established this trade relationship through nafta. so much has changed since then. for one thing, when we passed nafta, the phone booths by the ways and means hearing room actually had pay phones in them. a new 21st century trade agreement will be force multiplier for america's already strong economy. and today marks the day two
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years ago that the house approved the tax cuts and jobs act for the first time. it's transformed america's commifment today president trump and ambassador lighthizer have fought hard and delivered on their promise for a pro-growth and modern trade pact. because of their outstanding leadership and working closely with our congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle we now have a trade agreement that will deliver historic wins for the economy. that's because this trade agreement is all about growth. usmca will set the stage for billions more in economic activity. if creates for the first time rules for competing in the digital economy through the advantage of america's manufacturers and farmers across so many sectors. it pries open canada's market for u.s. farmers and ranchers to sell american dairy, wheat, chicken, eggs, and turkey. it improves the competitive position of our manufacturers,
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service companies, and our small businesses. and it ends the race to the bottom created by what had been mexico's poor labor laws. and the agreement best of all is enforceable. allowing us to challenge violations and stop countries from blocking these challenges. holding mexico and canada accountable for these new rules. more jobs, more american customers. america's innovators will get the tools they need to succeed here as we compete with countries like china. independent experts predict this new agreement will spur over $68 billion in new economic activity. and we are always looking to create more u.s. jobs, and this will create more than 176,000 jobs here in america, including 76,000 in our auto sector. that's good news for everyone. best of all for the american people, usmca is a truly bipartisan agreement. to chairman neal's credit, to his remarkable hard work, house
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democrats, including chairman blumenauer and my texas colleague, henry cuellar, and many others, work in good faith with ranking member buchanan, ambassador lighthizer to get to a path to yes. we are so glad to see so many republican priorities were retained. in the agreement before us today we have labor, environmental rules that are realistic, they are measurable, enforceable. what is not in this agreement are provisions for which there is no consensus like the paris climate accord. it's not a perfect agreement, no trade agreements are. and we'll continue to work to improve the areas that we think can be in future agreements, but in any event american workers have a major victory in usmca and i'm proud to support it. it is a shame that speaker held it up for so long, it's been over a year since president trump and our north american neighbors signed the new
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u.s.-mexico-canada agreement. been over half a year since mexico ratified the initial agreement and they have undertaken transformational labor reform. and due to democrats' misguided obsession with impeachment, they neglected moving forward on this pro-worker and pro-growth trade agreement for far too long. nonetheless, today i am so encouraged that we are here finally moving forward on this new strengthened north american trade agreement because in the end usmca will not be a republican win or a democratic win but a win for the american people. and a stronger, more prosperous alliance with our north american trading partners. thank you, madam speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, madam speaker. let me yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, the chairman of the trade subcommittee, mr. blumenauer, who also did an invaluable effort in terms of the working group that assembled the document that we will vote on this afternoon. the speaker pro tempore: the -- mr. blumenauer: thank you for
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your extraordinary ferts. 25 years ago nafta passed over strong opposition with serious flaws. at the beginning of this congress we were given a bill by the administration that didn't address those problems. it didn't have the votes to pass. and it didn't deserve to pass. i am proud of the work with our chairman, with our working group, the speaker who periodically invested huge amounts of time to keep it on track, we have today, of course ambassador lighthizer, who was a great partner working with us. we are voting today on an agreement that has fundamentally been rewritten and strengthened. a personal priority for me was stripping unnecessary and harmful special provisions for big phrma. we strengthened labor protections and enforcement, these are game changers and the help of afl-cio president and again the speaker were invaluable. we have had environmental
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improvements. my colleague from oregon, suzanne bonamici, deserves great praise for being tenacious on that. we will attack the raw sewage many of us saw flowing into the pacific in tijuana. we finally have come to an agreement that can and should be passed. i appreciate the hard work on all our colleagues and hope that this is a foundation that we can move forward to deal with challenges we have with a global economy with the same spirit of cooperation, innovation, and cooperation. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: i'm proud to yield two minutes to the leading republican on the trade subcommittee who was -- deserves great credit for this trade agreement, the gentleman from florida, mr. buchanan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. buchanan: thank you. madam speaker, i rise today in support of the united
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states-mexico-canada agreement, but i want to say up front i'm so excited about the bipartisan effort that's going to make a big difference for american workers. i want to thank our leaders on our committee. leader brady, chairman neal, chairman blumenauer. i want to thank all of you because this has been a team effort. it's exciting to see that. the house passes today with -- what the house passes today will bring us one step closetory finally modernizing and balancing the 25-year-old north american free trade agreement which supports nearly $1.3 trillion in economic activity and more than 12 million american jobs. passing usmca will update the united states' critical trading relationships with north american neighbors into the 21st century, high standard deal that benefits american workers, businesses, and the economy. in fact, according to the independent international trade commission, usmca will boost our
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economy by 68 billion and create another additional 175,000 new jobs. international trade is critical to my home state of florida where we export more than $12 billion worth of goods and services to can in a dean and mexico, supporting 700,000 jobs. leveling the playing field for florida and the country increases access to our foreign markets, is critical to growing the u.s. economy, and creating good-paying jobs. florida has 15 deep water seaports including port manatee in my district. florida exports $10 billion in goods and services annually and adds more than $100 billion billion in economic value to our state. i want to also congratulate president trump because this is something for the last three or four years he's been very passionate about. ambassador lighthizer because without him i'm not sure we would be here today in his effort. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. and urge support for this
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landmark trade agreement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, madam speaker. i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from georgia, whose legendary work on behalf of america is well-known to all. jeongman john lewis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. louis riddick madam speaker, i want to thank my friend -- mr. lewis: madam speaker, i want to thank my friend, chairman neal, for all of his hard and great work. he never gave up. he never gave in. he kept the faith. and he kept his eyes on the prize. i want to thank all of my colleagues, both democrats and republicans, from the ways and for finding a way to get us a way, to find a
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way to get us to the point where we are today. 26 years ago i opposed nafta with every bone in my body. i never thought that today would come, when we would have the opportunity to right some of the wrongs in that agreement. nafta failed our workers. it failed our mexican brothers and sisters. t failed mother earth. nafta destroyed the hopes and reams of a generation. it started a race to the bottom. with this vote, we have a chance to reset the clock, to chart a new path, and to create a new trade model. we can always do more, but today we build a new foundation for
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trade policy. a law that reflects our values as a people and as a nation. i want to thank the working group and all of our trade staffers for working day in and day out. thank you so much. they were determined to do right . and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i'm proud to yield three minutes to a free market conservative who is an outstanding chairman of the republican conference, the gentlelady from wyoming, ms. cheney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from wyoming is recognized. ms. cheney: thank you very much, madam speaker. and thank you to the republican leader of the ways and means committee, my friend, mr. brady, for all his hard work and to chairman neal as well for the work on this. sadly, madam speaker, last night on the floor of this house the democrats impeached the president of the united states. without any direct evidence.
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after that we learned that despite the fact that they claimed for months that impeachment was an urgent matter, speaker pelosi is refusing to send the articles of impeachment to the senate. i suppose we shouldn't be surprised, as leader mcconnell moments ago said these articles are a reflection of very shoddy work and a rigged and rushed process. the american voters will not forget the travesty that the house democrats have overseen. had they not been obsessed with impeaching president trump, we could have approved this very deal a year ago. and the bipartisan nature of this deal that we are here discussing today cannot cover up what happened on this floor last night. trade with mexico and canada is vital to our economy and my home state of wyoming. exports from wyoming to our north american partners totaled
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$207 million in 2018. this usmca will open countless new opportunities for wyoming businesses, especially our ag producers, selling our goods like wheat and beef, increasing export opportunities and the thousands of jobs supported by trade in wyoming. usmca will also benefit our small and medium sized businesses who already comprise 67% of our state's exports of machinery to canada and mexico. for too long nafta allowed countries to take advantage of u.s. workers. usmca negotiated by the president -- usmca, negotiated by the president, is vital to strengthening our relationship with our north american trade partner, while still holding canada and mexico accountable. i support this crucial trade deal because it will be -- it will bring tremendous benefits to my home state of wyoming and all across the nation. and i urge its approval today. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves.
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the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, messages from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 2774, an act to direct the attorney general to establish and carry out a veteran treatment court program in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: madam speaker, i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from texas, congressman doggett. mr. doggett: thank you. this agreement is good for moving commerce across our three countries. it means more jobs, it means lower prices for consumers. that's especially important in texas where the original nafta was signed only a few blocks from my san antonio office. mexico, our top trading partner, canada, our second. some were so eager for the commerce that could be produced by continuing nafta that they were willing to accept most any agreement. but we insisted that we get a
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much improved agreement to address the legitimate concerns of those who raised objection to previous agreements. what we have today is an initial step, an important step, toward achieving a truly 21st century trade agreement that not only encourages trade, but protects the environment and recognizes the legitimate concerns of workers. this victory results from major changes in what president trump proposed 14 months ago. first, we secured additional funding for the north american development bank based in san antonio, which is important in addressing especially environmental concerns. second, and very significantly, we deleted the horrible big pharma power grab to extend its monopoly power for prescription price gouging. third, each country was forced to take all necessary measures to comply with multilateral
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environmental agreements which take precedence over trade. this includes an additional recent agreement to dramatically reduce heat-trapping chemicals. in 2021, when we have a new president who actually believes in science, the agreement will facilitate, not impede, our response to climate crisis. and finally, instead of platitudes, we have an enforceable agreement to address worker concerns. let's celebrate a major step forward in building broad public support for trade. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to an outstanding technology leader on the ways and means committee, the gentleman from arizona, mr. schweikert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. schweikert: thank you, madam speaker. and, mr. brady, i appreciate our brothers on the other side. this is interesting. can i actually just -- i know we all have the points we want to walk through. can i actually sort of take a
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step sideways and sort of do more -- a unified theory reason why i think getting this done is so incredibly important? we talk about our issues with trade with china. we're living in a time right now where supply chains are choosing where to move around the world. the fact of the matter is that we're going to move north america into a stable, much morrow bust -- we know what the rules are -- trading block. gives us a chance to try to draw much more of the world's supply chains, manufacturing, trade, commerce, as we get to be one of the key hubs in the world. look, the fragility, the disagreements, hopefully that's beyond us now. being from the state of arizona, we also accomplished a number of things in this trade agreement that are really important. the rules where small businesses , internet-based businesses, now
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have a fighting chance to engage in commerce, back and forth across the border. some of the other rules of protections of i.t. and data. we truly have modernized much of this agreement. will this help the united states? i sure hope so. because you actually see a number of the predictions that this draws almost a half a percent of g.d.p. in growth. that's wonderful. i wish we could have done this a year ago but we're finally getting it done. we're living almost in a miracle of economic growth and economic stability. this just actually adds one more leg that we can keep this going, because we got the tax policy right. we demonstrated we've also got the international part of the tax policy right. now hopefully we're getting part of the trade right. can we continue to lift this economic expansion miracle longer? and i will make the argument, getting this usmca done is
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incredibly important to this success. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, madam speaker. we consider it a bit of a miracle that the gentleman from did not show up with his charts -- that the gentleman did not show up with his charts. i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from california, whose invaluable work on the committee and a steady hand all of the time is very much appreciated, congressman thompson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. chairman. madam speaker, i rise in strong support of the -- of the usmca implementing legislation. as a member of the working group, i can tell you how far we've come. the original agreement that was sent to congress was a total failure at protecting workers' rights, providing access to affordable medicine, and protecting our environment. further, it wasn't enforceable. the bill we have before us today is the result of tireless work from speaker pelosi, chairman neal, the working group members who represented the diverse views of congress.
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with gains achieved through our negotiations, this trade deal will set the standard for all future trade agreements. it is enforceable, it protects workers, it helps address serious environmental issues, and it protects access to affordable medicine. finally, i really want to say thank you to the staff who worked tirelessly to get us to this day. there were a lot of late nights and a lot of weekends sacrificed to reach this deal. specifically i'd like to thank the catherines. catherine t. and catherine m., the trade subcommittee staff, alexandria, john, julia, kate, katie and keegan. and from my staff, my trade person, jennifer, on my staff. i commend the speaker, the chairman and all the members who worked so hard to get us here because all of those good things that both sides have been talking about today were not in the first draft that we got from the white house.
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this is a good bill because we made it a good bill. ask everybody to support this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the outstanding republican whip, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. scalise: thank you, madam speaker. i thank chairman brady for yielding and i want to thank all the people that we've worked with to get to this point. because passing the united states-mexico-canada trade agreement is going to be a major victory for american workers. yet another sign that we can improve on our current trade relationships, i think a lot of people were concerned that maybe the president would pull out of nafta, because he was clearly critical of the flaws of the previous agreement. but what he did was actually go and negotiate with mexico and get a better deal for american workers. then he went to canada, who might have been a little more reluctant, but got a better deal
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with canada as well. and so what you see is not only a trade agreement that is a major win for the american economy, conservative estimates show over 160,000 new jobs get created, agriculture gets a big win because many of our products that we can't sell to canada, will be able to now be sent to those markets. so this shows how congress can work with this administration to do something that's really good for american workers. but what it also does, madam speaker, is it sends a message to the rest of the world that we can work with our friends to get better trade deals. our other friends around the world who would like to work to get better trade deals but knew if you can't get a deal with your neighbors from the north and south, you can't get a deal with anyone else, now this tells them that we can close deals and that there are other countries lining up that want to be a part of this economy. we have the hottest economy in the world and it's only going to get better for workers here.
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but it then sends a message to china that not just america wants to send, but a message that all of our allies around the world want to send, that when you do business with america, you have to follow the rules. you can't play by your own set of rules. so now for enforcement of deals it really shows that china's going to have to become part of the world economy and play by the rules that everyone else in the world plays by. and that's an important win for all of those forgotten men and women across this country who appreciate the work president trump's done, bob lighthizer who has been his quarterback on this all the way through, and everyone else. so it's going to be a big win for our country, for our economy. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. . mr. neal: i want to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from connecticut, again, a member of the working task force. whose keen mind and good sense is always very helpful for these
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debates, congressman john larson. the speaker pro tempore: i -- mr. larson: i thank the chairman, madam speaker. it's always a pleasure to know that what this body can do when we work together. i also want to associate myself with the remarks of the chairman for his incredible leadership. in his opening remarks he underscored the key word that is central to this agreement, that is far different from the previous nafta agreement, it's enforcement. and it was his tenacity and the tenacity of the working group anti-subcommittee that made this happen. -- and the subcommittee that made this happen. i commend speaker pelosi for her work and clearly for all the working members of the task force for the effort they put forward. mike thompson has already credited the staff for their outstanding work, and i specifically want to thank rosa
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delauro who also was there for the first nafta vote as well. and is a strong and tenacious defender of labor and the work rosa delauro, the work of president trumpka. the work of ambassador lighthizer. these were salient reasons that underscored mr. neal's premise that enforcement at all levels, but specifically as it related to labor and environment needed to be put in place. with that i thank you. and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, proud to yield two minutes to the leader, republican leader of the tax policy subcommittee, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized. mr. smith: thank you. i almost heard my colleague, mr. larson, appreciate -- i thought
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heard him say president trumpka. thought he was going to say president trump. i appreciate the few nudges we have seen over the last few weeks that have brought us to this point and i certainly appreciate the work of ambassador lighthizer. many on president trump's team who have worked so hard to get us to this point. representing an agriculture powerhouse district, third district of nebraska, where our farmers and ranchers work very diligently and efficiently to help feed america anti-world. we need good markets for them. trade relationships in north america are so important and that we have this opportunity to modernize nafta heading us in the direction to even more markets and really reflecting the needs of our economy and the economy across north america. we have got this opportunity to
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bring people together, especially in light of events this week. i certainly appreciate this opportunity and our leader on the ways and means committee, both mr. brady and the chairman as well. this is a great time to work together. i look forward to its passage and urge everyone's vote yes. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: let me recognize the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. kind, for 1 1/2 minutes. his advocacy on behalf of agriculture is well-known to all in this body. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin virginia tech. mr. kind: i rise in proud support of this trade agreement much it is important we have a strong trading relationship with our two border neighbors, mexico and canada. i just caution my colleagues who choose to vote no on this. that a no vote is a return to the failed policy of the old nafta. the status quo. rather than this more modernized version. i'm happy that dairy farmers will have greater access to the canadian market. we made progress on poultry and
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eggs. we tightened up the sanitary standards so those decision vs. to be made on sound science rather than arbitrary decision that is block our exports. we have perhaps the strongest worker protection chapter ever in a trade agreement, enhanced environmental standards, all to level the playing field for our workers, farmers, business, so they can fairly compete rather than trying to compete in a race to the bottom. perhaps most importantly we have the strongest enforcement chapter ever, we look forward to working with mexico and canada to implement it the right way to make sure we are playing by the same rules. this is solid and i want to commend the chair, the ranking member, the working group but also the staff of the countless hours you put in to get to us this place, but especially ambassador bob lighthizer through his perseverance and patience throughout the months. these were difficult negotiations. this is what bipartisanship looks like on the house floor. we are able to get this across the floor. i encourage my colleagues to
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support this agreement. support the northern hemisphere economy. show the rest of the world that we are back in business. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to a main street businessman and republican leader of the oversight subcommittee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. kelly: i thank the gentleman. madam speaker, it's great to stand here today. and what a difference a day makes. it's really good to see members on both sides of the aisle stand up and say, you know, we are getting things done for america. and i would like to say, this is a christmas gift that's wrapped up in paper that's read, white, and blue -- red, white, and blue. it's a jobs bill. 176,000 jobs, $68 billion in new revenue. this is arrived at because in 2016 a candidate for the presidency made the same commitment that everybody that every runs for the president says, if i get elected, i'm going to make sure we replace
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nafta with something that makes sense for american workers. promise made, promise kept. 45th president of the united states has been on a tear of improving this economy. now, having said all that, i do have friends on both sides of the aisle, i just think that sometimes we are on the floor here it's impossible to show that. and there is a saying that at christmastime, peace on earth, good will to men. that's not the saying. it's peace on earth to men of good will. that's a saying we need to take here. one story i will share with you as a child i used to write a letter to santa claus every christmas. i would tell him everything i wanted. and i would come down christmas morning, i never got everything i wanted. but i was sure as heck thankful for everything i got. this is a tremendous jobs bill for america. this is a tremendous accomplishment. i can't imagine anybody not voting for this. i do want to take this opportunity to wish all of us a very merry christmas and all the people back home and staffs on both sides, thank you for everything you did. this is the way america is supposed to work and should continue to work as we end 2020
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and go -- end 2019 and go into 2020. it's a wonderful opportunity to show america that on the people's floor, the house of representatives, we can actually get things done. i want to thank you. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, madam speaker. always an honor to endorse the speaker of the house and welcome her to the floor but point something out. weekends, from brussels, from madrid, from paris she called me. on the final weekend time and again with the u.s. trait rep on the line, the three of us went back and forth with rich trumpka who was in pennsylvania on vacation who couldn't have access until 5:00 in the evening, the speaker was totally involved in this endeavor. most importantly she called me in the middle of the patriots game and i was smart enough to take the call. the speaker of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is
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recognized. the speaker: yes, i was watching what was happening with san francisco 49ers and the baltimore ravens. sports, sports, certainties ever our lives. that's a unifying factor. we are all for our teams, aren't we, and hopefully we are all team u.s.a. now we can prove that on this u.s.-mexico-canada agreement. while i was calling the distinguished chairman, i was in brussels for 5th anniversary of the bat. bulk. we had a bipartisan delegation there to thank our veterans, all of them in their 90's, many of whom who were there so we could thank them personally and be there to see them acknowledged by heads of state and the rest. and in terms of staying it was about we are still in it when it comes to the paris accord. work, work, work. but this was a priority and time was important.
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we were trying to get it done as soon as it met the standards that we shared. i proudly rise to join my colleagues on this exciting day as the house passes an historic trade agreement that is truly worthy of the american people. new and dramatically improved u.s.-canada-mexico trade agreement. we salute, i salute chairman richie neal, a lifelong champion for working people, the maestro in the house on our side of this process, who helped deliver a trade agreement that will serve as a model for future trade agreements. i thank each member of the trade working group who worked so hard to improve the product that was sent originally by the administration nearly two years ago to where we are now. i thank chairman earl blumenauer, chairman of the trade subcommittee. congresswoman rosa delauro, congressman john larson,
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congresswoman january schakowsky, congressman mike thompson, congresswoman terri sewell, congresswoman suzanne bonamici, and congressman jimmy gomez, each working on the different categories i mentioned. enforcement, labor rights, environmental protections, and pharmaceuticals. i thank every member for their wisdom, leadership, and commitment to delivering for the people during this process. i was just asked in a press conference, aren't you giving, mr. brady, i was asked this question, aren't you giving the president a victory to boast about? i said that would be collateral benefit if we can do -- come together to support america's working families and the president wants to take credit, so be it. that would not stand in the way of our passing this. however, i do want to point out some of the distance we have come from the president's original product. house democratic caucus is united in our values and our priority to make progress for
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america's working families in everything we do, including this trade agreement. we all thank trade representative lighthizer, mr. ambassador, for being an honest broker and straight shooter with us as we worked toward an agreement. not every day without it's, shall we say, exuberances, but this day is possible because the hard work of many members representing every corner of our country. we thank richard trumpka, president of the afl-cio, true warrior for workers who helped secure an agreement that is light years better than what the administration proposed two years ago. democrats knew that hardworking americans need it more from the usmca than just broken nafta with better language but no real enforcement. that was my concern. we just can't come up with a bill that's a little sugar on top and say this is better because the impact on workers
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would be felt for a long time. we knew we could do better. the original usmca draft put forward by the administration fell far short than where it is now. still left many american workers exposed to losing their jobs to mexico, included unacceptable provision, locking in high drug prices, came up short on key environmental standards, critically lacked the toughest effective enforcement that -- enforcement that is are essential to protecting american jobs and holding our trading partners accountable to their promises. after months of democrats working with the trade representative, we have key changes to the usmca that make this a truly transformative agreement for america's workers. now with democratic changes the usmca has the strongest enforcement mechanism of any u.s. trade agreement. again in contrast the original usmca draft which would have allowed nations who do not live
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up to their obligations to stop enforcement complaints from even being heard. democrats' changes prevented nations from panel blocking. for workers, while the administration drafted stacked the deck against labor violation claims, our changes enact new rules and monitoring tools to protect american workers, prosecute labor violations, and ensure that mexico is complying with labor reforms. included another point is for our workers including by establishing a labor attache based in mexico that would provide on-the-ground information with mexico's labor practices and creating facilities specific rapid law enforcement mechanism to stop trading goods that violate this agreement. this is -- these are not technical changes. these make a big difference. for the environment whereas the administration's draft had weak environmental rules and tilted the playing field against violation claims, democrats have
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strengthened the rules and enforcement tools and lowering pollution and increasing resilient infrastructure. sadly while the administration refuses to acknowledge the existence let alone the urgency of the climate crisis, our changes in the usmca set a firm footing for progress when we have a president who brings us back to the paris accord. by the way, when we were in spain on the subject, our large bicameral delegation's team was, we are still in when it came to the paris accord. for lowering prescription drug costs the white house draft contained unacceptable giveaways for big phrma that would have locked in high prescription drug prices. . democrats have eliminated these handouts to big corporations and improved access to life-saving medicines. the changes house democrats have secured in the usmca make this a
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truly transformational trade agreement, as the afl-cio wrote in their letter of support last week. we are secured an agreement that working people can proudly support. working people, this is still a quote, are responsible for a deal that is a vast improvement over the original nafta and the flawed proposal brought forward in 2017. for the first time there truly will be enforceable labor standards. the usmca also eliminates special carve-outs for corporations like the big giveaway to big pharma and the administration's initially proposal and loopholes designed to make it harder to prosecute labor violations. the usmca is far from perfect, but there's no denying that the trade rules in america are now fairer because of the hard work of so many people and our perseverance. working people have created a new standard for future trade egotiations. i think this is in conclusion.
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i may have another thought. the strength of the usmca is recognized from groups representing tens of millions of americans across industries and geographies. labor groups and trade organizations, i'll submit for the record. farm growers, farmers, growers and ranchers, groups representing businesses around the country, social justice and faith-based organizations such as net worth. the list goes on and on it. will be part of the statement that i submit for the record. this is a strong agreement that honors our promises for the people, to give us bigger paychecks and makes a difference for millions. with all the respect in the world for our neighbors. i respect the greatness of mexico as our neighbor and the friendship that we have and want to engender and our neighbor to the north, canada, with respect to them. our responsibility was to have a trade agreement that lifted all workers in our hemisphere, our first responsibility was to american workers.
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i urge a bipartisan vote for the usmca and urge senator mcconnell to take the bill up quickly. we can send it right over, he can take it up any time. if the senate republicans care about workers, they will no doubt join us to send this bill to the president's desk. in the house and in the senate. with that, i again commend our chairman, -- commend our chairman for his outstanding work much i know you have a good -- work. i know you have a good rapport with the ranking member braidy. i thank all the members who are -- brady. i thank all the members who are responsible for bringing this to the floor. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the letters will be entered into the record. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: yes, madam speaker. pleased to yield two minutes to a key member of the ways and means committee who hails from a huge trade state, ohio, dr. wenstrup. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. owens: thank you. madam speaker, -- mr. wenstrup: thank you. madam speaker, for other over a
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year the administration and republican members of congress have emphasized the urgency of passing this agreement. the usmca. with this bipartisan vote, and with the hard work from both sides of the aisle, we finally have the opportunity to rebalance north american trade. in spite of delays, this opportunity that exists for all americans is finally here today. it's been 25 years since our north american trade agreement was established and it has not been updated to reflected modern economy. under this new trade agreement, our farmers, manufacturers and workers will finally have a deal that modernizes north american trade, boosts our economy and strengthens our nation's role in the global trading market. american farmers will now have increased access to the canadian market, to sell products like dairy, poultry, eggs and wheat. a vast improvement over the status quo. it improves intellectual property provisions, protects
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innovation, safeguards american trade secrets in canada and mexico through certain protections that are strong. usmca also modernizes trade with canada and mexico by establishing a new gold standard digital trade chapter to continue the growth of our digital economy. and it includes a new chapter dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses which make up 98% of our nation's exporters. our economy relies on trade with our north american neighbors and these additions will support american companies, farmers and workers. in fact, usmca's predicted to create over $68 billion in new economic activity and 176,000 new jobs here in america. usmca is a win for the united states and a win for north america. at long last americans will have an updated trade agreement that works for them and the stage is set for further agreements that help hardworking americans. i want to thank the president,
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ambassador lighthizer, and all of my colleagueser to working so hard on this over the -- colleagues, for working so hard on this over the last couple of years. i encourage members to support this and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, madam speaker. i want to yield 1 1/2 minutes to my friend from new jersey, congressman pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pascrell: i want to thank the chairman and i want to thank mr. brady. want to thank mr. blumenauer and mr. buchanan for a great job that they did. and also mr. lighthizer, a different kind of guy and i really believe that he was essential to getting to this vote today. you know, in my entire political anyone say er had to me that, as was said today,
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that if you vote against this, you're voting for the status quo. i even got a jerry garcia tie on today. me and the status quo don't agree most of the time. so, there's some questions that do remain. the ship of human rights has not been righted. the president never once mentioned in any speech from 2016 to now about human rights, about workers' rights, in discussing nafta. mexican workers are still being treated like chattel. american jobs will still flow to other countries. protection unions will still own the day. , but this bill has made the improvements, many improvements.
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but it's not enough. and some can say, well, is there ever enough? there are too many questions. will mexico be held accountable to fully enforce their labor laws? we don't know. can i have 20 seconds? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i'm proud to yield two minutes to an outstanding new member of the ways and means committee, the gentleman from kansas, mr.estess. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas is recognized. ms. esty: thank you, madam speaker -- streststrest thank you, madam speaker -- mr. estes: thank you, madam speaker. i'm proud today to recognize this agreement. since president trump announced the usmca over a year ago, i've urged my colleagues across the aisle to support us, to join us in supporting this important trade agreement and getting it across the finish line. today i'm thrilled to speak on the floor and ask my colleagues to support it one for one last time -- support it for one last
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time. the journey to today has been longer and harder than it should have been. thises had taken a back see the -- this has taken a back seat to partisan politics, causing people to miss out on economic growth and jobs in the meantime. today we're taking a giant step forward in finally making this free and fair trade a reality. the u.s.-mexico-canada agreement will create 176,000 new jobs in our country, and will boost the national g.d.p. by $68 billion. it's important for farmers and ranchers in my state, the usmca opens up new markets for american dairy, wheat, chicken, eggs and turkey for the first time. this deal also helps u.s. manufacturing jobs and increases wages. nafta was created 25 years ago and the usmca will now be the first trade agreement with a chapter dedicated to digital trade and sets new standards for labor and the environment. i want to thank president trump and ambassador lighthizer for their incredible leadership over the last couple of years, to
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follow through on another campaign pledge, and negotiate this update to nafta. i also want to thank chairman neal and ranking member brady for their leadership to ensure that our ways and means committee and congress were involved in this process all along the way. this is an important victory for president trump and for millions of farmers, ranchers and workers across our country who will benefit from the usmca. as a strong advocate for free and fair trade, i proudly support the usmca and look forward to working with the senate to send this to the president's desk as soon as possible. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: madam speaker, i want to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from illinois, a well-known champion of all things chicago and a great advocate of working men and women, congressman davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: thank you, mr. chairman. i've always been told that if there is righteousness in the heart, there's beauty in the
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character. and i think what we have seen this week and what we are seeing today is the righteousness of the members of this house who take the position that while neither side will get everything that it wants, i certainly won't get everything that i want in the state of illinois, but, you know, i've got dairy farmers, not as many as ron kind may have in wisconsin, i've got corn growers in illinois, soybean growers, maybe not as many as there are in iowa, but the comprehension -- comprehensiveness of the communities that we represent demand that we come together. so i want to commend chairman the our ranking member, working group, the speaker of
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the house, because it took all of them to make this work. so, mr. chairman, i'm going to vote for it. i admit that i feel a great deal like bill pascrell, but i'm going to vote for it because we need to come together and do what we can for the american people. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, proud to yield two minutes to a happy hoosier, who is a champion for low tariffs and fair trade, the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. walorski. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam speaker. i'm indeed happy. i am thrilled today to actually be here and cast my vote for the u.s.-mexico-canada agreement or the usmca. i can't tell you enough of what it will do for our district in
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northern indiana. the hardworking hoosiers in indiana's second district are builders and grorse. we manufacture most of the r.v.'s you see on the road and a large portion of boats and trailers that you see on many lakes. we manufacture auto parts and musical instruments. our farmers put food on the table, including corn, soybean, pork, duck, eggs and dairy products. mexico and canada are key export markets for all of them and the workers they employ. spend 25 -- it's been 25 years since nafta has been enforced. technology, transportation and consumer habits have all evolved. nafta, however, stayed the same. politicians promised the sky when it came to trade agreements but president trump promised to modernize nafta and unlike anyone else, he kept that promise with usmca. usmca dismantles trade barriers, this stood in the way of american exports for so long. for farmers in my district, this means more dairy, more poultry
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and more eggs are heading to canada. for manufacturers this means fewer paperwork headaches that slow down shipments and prevent them altogether. for businesses of all sizes and types and shapes, this means ecommerce standards that promote fair competition and will be used in a standard in future agreements. for workers this means more jobs staying in the united states. robust enforcement ensures that the potential of usmca doesn't evaporate overnight. the promises made by all sides will be promises kept by all sides. madam speaker, this day is long overdue, but i'm so happy it's finally here. our economy is booming, thanks to tax cuts and regulatory reforms. and now usmca will keep that momentum going. it will put more money in workers' pockets and it will help small businesses thriving. big win for president trump and ambassador lighthizer. big win for america. i urge my colleagues to support this agreement and i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas -- the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: it's a pleasure for me to introduce a real champion of working men and women everywhere, the gentleman from buffalo, new york, congressman higgins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. higgins: thank you, mr. chairman. and madam speaker. the economic future of buffalo and western new york is strategically tied to southern ontario, which is 1/3 of the entire population of the country of canada. i'm pleased that this agreement strengthens the u.s.-canadian economic and light quality relations. i am concerned, however, that the u.s.-mexican economic relationship is more challenging. the united states has lost six million manufacturing jobs in the past 20 years. 53,000 manufacturing businesses have closed. nafta's promise of wage convergence, bringing mexican wages to canadian and u.s. standards, has failed. the mexican minimum wage is $5.10 a day, less than 64 cents an hour.
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we have good reason to be skeptical of mexico's commitment to do better. the usmca, however, because of chairman richard neal's leadership and emphasis on rigorous enforcement, does have the potential for improved mexican compliance and wages, the environment and labor standards. and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: i'm proud to yield two minutes to a fellow texan and leader interest the dallas-fort worth area and free-throw, the gentleman from texas, mr. marchant. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas virginia tech. mr. marchant: thank you, mr. chairman. the united states-mexico-canada agreement is a revolutionary trade deal that will usher in a new era of economic prosperity and growth for americans across the country. texas in particular stands ready to thrive under this agreement. our state exports more to mexico
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than any other. and is second in the exports to canada. each year over $135 billion worth of texan goods are sent to our two closest trading partners. supporting over 114,000 jobs in texas. the reforms in the usmca will ensure we continue to have free and fair access to international marketplaces, keeping prices low for americans, and business booming for business and workers. mr. chairman, i would like to thank today both you for shepherding this through, and my good friend and ranking member, and the members on the other side of the aisle that i believe worked -- i have been in legislatures for a long time and i always believed that on this bill that you were trying to get
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to yes on it. i appreciate the hours that you met. and texas will appreciate every vote that's cast for this bill. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yield back. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: madam speaker, i'm glad to yield 1 demaff 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from alabama, congresswoman sewell, who again was an invaluable member of the trade working group and her advocacy for people in her constituency is well-known to all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from alabama is recognized. ms. sewell: madam speaker, i rise today in strong support of this trade deal. i was honored that speaker pelosi asked me to join the democratic trade working group. we, the gang of eight, along with you, mr. chairman, worked tirelessly for six months negotiating with bob lighthizer, the ambassador. the u.s. ambassador on trade. we took what was a very weak and
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unenforceable trade deal and made it into a renegotiated trade agreement that will protect american workers and businesses. this bill we vote on today is a renegotiated usmca. i am particularly proud of the working group won two major concessions on enforcement. first we closed the panel blocking loophole and created a strong state-to-state mechanism for enforcement. second, we created a first of its kind rapid response mechanism to improve labor enforcement in mexico. this deal is a win for the steel workers and steamsters in my alabama district. it is a win for the automobile manufacturers and steel industry in the state of alabama. and it is a win for alabama farmers and agriculture producers. this renegotiated trade agreement is a much improved north american free trade agreement and it's because of that i ask my fellow colleagues to support it. i want to again thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the speaker, speaker of the house, nancy
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pelosi, my fellow gang of eight working group members, as well as bob lighthizer, and especially our hardworking staff. i want to thank especially katherine and my own staffer, rob for all their hard work on getting us there. i do believe this is a win for everyone and i urge my colleagues to support this new renegotiated usmca. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, proud to yield two minutes to champion of manufacturing and leader, republican leader social security subcommittee, the gentleman from new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized >> thank you, madam speaker. i thank the member from my -- my colleague from texas for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today because this is a good day. i don't want to discuss yesterday. i don't want to discuss issues that divide us in this chamber. i want to discuss today, the mexico-canada trade agreement
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because that's brought us together . when we come together, who wins in that situation? not us as members of the house of representatives. not us here in washington, d.c. mr. reed: but the american people. and you know over the last few years, remind me recently this morning about two years ago we delivered on tax cuts and i stood exactly right here and i knew that was going to unleash the american economy. we have an economy now at an all time high. 50-year lows of unemployment. 1.4 million new jobs in america. and today we have come together for the american worker, the american farmer, and we have united as democrats and republicans to do something good for our fellow citizens and that's this updated mexico-canada trade agreement. as i stood here two years ago and i had a discussion with my good friend from new york no longer here, mr. crowley, i declared in one voice saying hell, yes, i'm going to vote for those tax cuts and hell, yes, i'm going to vote for this mexico-canada trade agreement
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because what we are doing here is again unleashing the power of america. standing together it is amazing what we can accomplish. and i applaud chairman neal. i applaud the democratic working group. i applaud the other side of the aisle for standing with us today for the american workers and american farmers. i also applaud president trump and having the vision and the leadership to take on this issue when everyone told him it cannot be done. i applaud kevin brady and devin nunes and members of the ways and means committee that stood forward and said you know what we are going to do? we are going to make sure we stand for a principle we believe in. that is the american opportunity of a job and an economy that is growing and playing on a field across the world where we have a fair and level playing field of trade. because when we have fair, free trade, the american worker wins each and every day.
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thank you. i ask my colleagues to support this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: i want to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from washington, congresswoman dell ben, whose well acknowledged -- delbene, whose well acknowledged efforts is a knowledge forecaster of international economic the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from washington is recognized. ms. delbene: thank you, mr. chairman. madam speaker, i rise today in support of u.s.-mexico-canada agreement and implementing legislation. congressional democrats worked hard to secure labor specific enforcement tools and robust environmental provision that is make that agreement a substantial improvement over the original nafta. most importantly, this new agreement helps many of my constituents. now our dairy farmers will have greater market access to canada. and our wineries will have an easier time selling their wine
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in british columbia. when this new agreement is in place, it will be the first u.s. trade agreement with a digital trade chapter. it includes provisions on data localization, cross border data flows, and other requirements that preserve a free and open internet. that is important to all segments of our economy. my district is home to a vibrant technology industry that's responsible for thousands of good-paying jobs and helps power america's large trade surplus in digital services. i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this agreement and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to the republican leader of the health subcommittee and the outstanding leader of the permanent select commee on intelligence, the gentleman from california, mr. nunes. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from california is recognized. mr. nunes: i thank the gentleman for those kind words. i'm pleased, madam speaker, that we have overcome numerous delays and are finally passing a north american trade deal for the 21st century. usmca will create jobs, boost the economy, and strengthen our relationship with our neighbors in canada and mexico. i want to express my gratitude to ambassador robert lighthizer and his team and greg and his staff for the hard work they have done on this agreement. i also want to commend the president for delivering yet again for american farmers and workers under usmca. under this agreement ag products that had zero tariffs under nafta will continue to be tariff free. our farmers and ranchers will gain additional access to the remaining protected sectors. enforcement will be enhanced to ensure the agreement is implemented correctly. updated dispute settlement mechanisms will ensure the united states has prompt access to dispute -- to a dispute
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settlement panel when needed to allow u.s. business to compete on a level playing field. this is a great bipartisan agreement that will bring huge benefits to millions of americans. i urge my colleagues to support usmca. and finally, in closing, i want to thank chairman neal and ranking member brady for all their great work on this. i know it was not easy but you guys did great work. i think the american people owe you a debt of gratitude. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: madam speaker, another invaluable member of the ways and means committee whose knowledge about southern california is very important to all of us, the gentlelady from california, congresswoman chu. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. chu: i rise today in support of the improved usmca. with the changes demanded by democrats from the original proposal, this agreement marks an historic step that will stop the bleeding of american jobs to other countries.
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free trade agreements have often meant lost jobs or lower wages for american workers. and the trump administration's initial usmca was no different. but democrats fought back to win new labor protections that make this deal actually work for americans. and i have seen firsthand why these protections are so important. earlier this year i traveled on the ways and means trip to mexico to investigate the labor challenges we are facing. at a goodyear plant i spoke directly to workers whose starting pay was only $2 an hour and even less after deductions. then when these workers went on strike to demand better wages, nearly 50 labor leaders were harassed, threatened with violence, and fired. this means that a company that pays american workers $23 an hour and made $15.5 billion in sales last year would rather fire mexican workers than pay them a fair wage.
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it's one of the many examples that explain why companies outsource jobs and exploit labor in other countries. and it's why democrats fought so hard for a usmca deal with strong labor protections to ensure a level playing field. this trade deal isn't perfect but it's an important step in the right direction. and protects american jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: i'm proud to yield two minutes to the gentleman who hails from the food, fuel, and fiber capital of the world, my fellow texas yan, mr. arrington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. arrington: i couldn't have said that better myself i want to thank the ranking member, my dear friend from the great state of texas, for his leadership on this very important trade deal. our largest and most important relationship of all of our trading retionships. i want to thank our chairman, chairman neal, for keeping this thing on track and keeping
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people in the game so we could have a bipartisan. and that's the only way this was going to work was if we had a bipartisan consensus. so you are to be commended, mr. chairman, for your efforts. let's give credit where credit is due for the one who led the charge who did the heavy lifting, our president, donald j. trump. i'm saying this because in 2016 he was already calling out some of these trade deals as a rip-off on american workers. and manufacturers. while nafta was a great deal for farmers and ranchers, we saw 400% increase in trade for ag products since the inception of nafta, it hasn't been good all the way around. it hasn't been fair all the way around. and it hasn't been productive in terms of keeping jobs here in the united states. kudos to our president for his doinged commitment to american -- dogged commitment to american first trade policies that.
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doesn't mean america only. that means we negotiate from strength. and we negotiate what's in the best interest of american workers, manufacturers, and farmers. that's what this does. $70 billion in economic growth. 170,000 jobs. and billions of investment that will go into the auto manufacturing sector. our producers, dairy producers, and other farmers are going to have open and access to new customers in canada. so this is a huge win for america. and so i want to join all my colleagues, republican and democrat, and champion this all the way through so i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle vote yes for usmca and vote for an even greater america and even greater prospect for american prosperity. god bless america. goo, west texas. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. . mr. neal: i yield 1 1/2 minutes
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to the gentleman from pennsylvania whose district i recently visited, a real champion of the airport, real champion of the seaport, real champion of international economics, my friend, congressman evans. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. evans: madam speaker, i'd like to first thank the chairman and the working group for working together. trade can be a poverty buster. it is a powerful tool in the tool box, by increasing the earning power of our communities and creating well-paying jobs. coming from the city of philadelphia that nearly has 25% poverty, well-paying jobs are the difference between thriving and surviving. let me say that again. thriving and surviving. that's why this agreement is important. trade is specificy beneficial to minority-owned businesses, pay a y-owned businesses
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wage premium of nearly $16,000 more. that's why i think the chairman and the staff -- i thank the chairman and the staff and the working group because of their leadership. this really sends a message to the entire world that we want free trade, but also fair trade. it's especially important to understand that everybody doesn't get everything they want. that is called negotiations. again, i stand here today proudly to say, mr. chairman, i'm supporting this 100%. thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i'm proud to yield to an outstanding member of the ways and means committee, the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. hoodhood thank you, -- mr. lahood: thank you, ranking member brady, for yielding the time. i rise today in support of the usmca. let's call this what it is. it's a win for it's a win for our farmers, it's a win for our manufacturers, it's toa win for our workers. so many people have worked
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tirelessly to ensure this high standard and modernized trade agreement got completed. i'd especially like to thank chairman neal and ranking member brady and our ways and means committee are -- ways and means staff for all their work to get this done. and bob lighthizer. there's not a more capable trade ambassador than we've had than bob lighthizer. he's been relentless in his pursuit of getting this done. and lastly, president trump. it wouldn't have happened without him and what he did, working with the canadians and the mexicans to get this trade agreement done. this free and fair trade agreement benefits all of us, all sectors of our economy. moreover, it will further support the record breaking economic growth that this country has seen. we arguably have the best economy we've had in 40 years and this will help that. it is true that this agreement is not perfect. there are a few things i would have liked to have seen differently, on sunset provision and rules of origin. but at the end of the day, when you look at these 24 chapters and what it does for market access for agriculture, to
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digital trade provisions, usmca puts america on top. and it shows the world that with our two largest trading partners, mexico and canada, we can negotiate an agreement that is solid. and remember, we represent 4.5% of the world's population. we have to have markets around the world. this agreement sets the standard for doing that. in congress i'm proud to represent the 18th district of illinois, the eighth largest district in terms of corn and soybean production. and when i think about what this does for market access, breaking down barriers, this helps our farmers. in illinois, ag is the number one industry in our state. i think about our manufacturers and what this means for jobs and opportunities for them. for products in canada and mexico. the ability to sell our goods, products and services around the world is absolutely vital to the economic success in illinois and across the country. 40% of the products we grow, produce or manufacture in illinois go to canada or mexico. this helps with that. in closing, i would just say, this is a good agreement. i look forward to supporting it
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and what -- and would ask my colleagues to do the same. thank you. and i yield back much the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. neal: madam speaker, a very knowledgeable member of the ways and means committee and another district that i visited not that long ago, mr. brad schneider. i want to recognize him for 1 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. schneider: thank you, madam speaker. i want to associate myself with the remarks of my colleague from illinois. this is a win for american workers. for their families for their chuents, for our nation as a -- for their community, for our nation as a whole. i want to thank chairman neal, mr. brady, and our staff to bring this deal forward. the usmca legislation before us today is the result of many months of hard-fought negotiations between congress and the administration and it is a true victory for the working people in our country. compared to the initial version of the agreement shared by the white house last year, the improved trade agreement before us today includes marketedly stronger protections for american workers and crucially
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serious enforcement mechanisms that ensure all parties will follow the agreement. while i believe the agreement includes higher standards to preserve our environment, i do regret the administration was unwilling to make any commitments to address the very real and pressing issues of climate change. nevertheless, the usmca is a major step forward for american workers and businesses fighting to compete in an increasingly interconnected world. it also puts to rest the president's threat to pull out of nafta without this certainty of a replacement. a testament to the hard-fought negotiations is the backing of this agreement from stakeholders as diverse as the afl-cio and the united states chamber of commerce. i support the passage of the usmca implementing language and i urge my colleagues to do the same. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: madam speaker, i'm proud to yield two minutes to an outstanding member of the ways and means committee, the gentleman from south carolina,
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mr. rice. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. rice: thank you, mr. ranking member. this is a great day for american workers. the name plate on my desk says jobs, jobs, jobs, and that's exactly what this new trade agreement will bring. you see, for too long america was willing to accept trade agreements that were tilted against american workers. because we were so far ahead of the rest of the world. but we are not so far ahead anymore. ross perot was right all those years ago when he said the old nafta would bring a giant sucking sound of american jobs going to mexico. and that is precisely what happened in my district. unfair trade agreements are one of the primary reasons that the american middle class has stagnated for decades, until the election of donald trump. the new usmca corrects much of this imbalance. it will prevent the departure of many more american jobs.
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it will bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs to america. it will raise the wages of workers throughout north america. it will accelerate the growth of our american economy. i am thankful for the talent and effort of ambassador lighthizer in successfully reaching this incredibly complicated trilateral agreement. i am also thankful that we finally have a president with the backbone and determination to do what is necessary to bring our trading partners to the table, many of whom have taken advantage of us for far too long and despite the criticism of many here in our own country. our president is doing what is right for -- and fair for america and american workers. and finally, madam speaker, i am thankful that speaker pelosi has finally found a moment of sufficient political expedience
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that she would allow this the house went on to approve the agreement. cn ted yoho joined democrats in voting against the measure, along with independent congressman justin amash. the agreement now heads to the senate. legislation in the house resumes when members return tuesday, january 7. ♪ >> the house will be in order. c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington dc and around the country, so you can make up your own mind. created by capable -- created by cable in 1970 nine, c-span is
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brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. ♪ thursday night, the pbs news hour and politico held the sixth and last presidential candidates debate of the year and seven candidates took part in the event in los angeles. c-span re-airs the debate at friday night at 8 -- re-airs the debate friday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> russian president vladimir putin held his annual end-of-year news conference in , moscow. this portion of the 4.5 hour event included questions about russia's relationship with ukraine, his impression of british prime minister boris johnson, and the impeachment vote against president trump.


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