President Donald Trump signed his signature trade deal with Mexico and Canada, the USMCA, into law Wednesday on the South Lawn of the White House, and while he celebrated what he called “a colossal victory,” there was a noticeable absence of Democrats at the ceremony.
“For the first time in American history, we have replaced a disastrous trade deal that rewarded outsourcing with a truly fair and reciprocal trade deal that will keep jobs, wealth and growth right here in America,” Trump said.
Once again, they said it couldn't be done.
President @realDonaldTrump got it done. As of today, the NAFTA nightmare is over!
Promise Made, Promise Kept 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/gjdta3uBkP
— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) January 29, 2020
While impeachment-consumed Democrats were not invited, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence was on hand and he gave an nice accounting of the administration in bringing the deal about.
“This is a great day for American workers and American farmers,” he said. “Because Mr. President, thanks to your leadership NAFTA ends today and a new era of jobs and growth begins under the USMCA.”
Pence noted that Trump promised to get the economy moving again, as he touted the effort to cut taxes for working families and businesses, and roll back regulations.
“You unleashed American energy. Mr. President,” he added. “You also challenged our party and the American people to think in new ways about international trade and the American economy is booming. More than 7 million jobs created, unemployment at a 50-year low, and I know what means most to you is wages are rising across the board, but they are rising most rapidly for hardworking blue-collar Americans.”
Pence said the USMCA is “the largest trade deal in American history,” and touted the president’s leadership to say the U.S. “will leave behind the failed policies of the past and have a new trade deal that will benefit every American.”
“I saw firsthand how NAFTA hollowed out communities, caused thousands of factories to close, shuttered businesses in communities across my state and across the heartland,” he said. “We saw thousands of jobs go south of the border, over a million Americans lost their jobs. Thanks to your leadership, Mr. President, those days are over.”
Without naming names, Pence thank members of Congress for their help, and did name a few American business owners and farmers, saying Congress acted because they and many other Americans let their voices be heard.
“This day is theirs, as well,” he said.
Pence then thanked President Trump, who stood behind him. The praise so profound it would make for one helluva campaign video. In a few short words, he managed to capture exactly why so many Americans stand with the president.
“But finally, Mr. President, on their behalf I want to say thank you to you for having the vision long ago that America could do better than NAFTA,” Pence said. “I want to thank you, Mr. President, on behalf of the American people, for simply keeping your word. For fighting for the forgotten man and woman of this country every day as you do. For driving a hard bargain, for never letting up until we got a deal that put American jobs and American workers first.”
Vice President Pence said in closing, “I want to say with a grateful heart that we are here mostly because we have a president who will always put American first.”
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