President Trump tweeted late Friday that he’d suspended plans to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, saying the U.S. and Mexico had reached an agreement on stemming illegal immigration.
The president says Mexican officials “agreed to take strong measures” to cut down on the flow of illegal immigrants traveling through Mexico and entering the U.S. An Associated Press report says the move puts to an end a threat that had sparked warnings from members of Trumps party, as well as administration officials, about long-term damage to the economy.
The damage would include driving up prices for consumers, as well as put the recently-updated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement in jeopardy. U.S. and Mexican officials met for more than 10 hours on Friday and ended a third day of talks with an agreement that would satisfy Trump’s demand that Mexico crack down on illegal immigration into the U.S.
Republicans in Congress had recently warned the president that they were ready to try and stop imposing tariffs on Mexico that were scheduled to begin on Monday. They were worried about driving up costs to consumers and the damage to the economy.
Mexico plans for quick ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, setting the process in motion following action by Canada earlier this week. That leaves the U.S. behind both in the process as the Trump administration has yet to formally introduce the agreement to Congress.
However, the administration was reported to be sending a draft version to Congress Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence visited Canada Thursday to discuss moving the deal forward as Canada formally introduced the agreement to lawmakers earlier this week. Mexico’s President reported the documents were sent to Mexico’s Senate Thursday, and officials from Mexico were hopeful the U.S. would ratify the deal by July, according to the Associated Press. Mexico’s Senate is in recess, but officials say they will seek a special session to consider the agreement.
With the move by the Trump administration Thursday, the U.S. can send the formal agreement to Congress in 30 days. The House must vote on the agreement first, with no amendments, per Trade Promotion Authority. Democrats in the House have questioned provision in the agreement regarding labor and enforcement.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) today urged Congress to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement; a bipartisan treaty that benefits American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers by fixing longstanding imbalances and cutting regulations. This trade agreement will grant American farmers and businesses greater freedom to sell their goods and products throughout North America without the interference of government appropriations.
“Failure to bring this approval to the floor would put American farmers and workers at risk. As a nation of free trade, we must do what is best for America,” said Rep. Bacon. “To do this, non-tariff barriers and unfair subsidies must be eliminated and replaced. USMCA offers a fairer playing field for America. Every change in this agreement is better than NAFTA. I urge Congress to bring this to the House floor for approval.”
Rep. Bacon is a member of the House Agriculture Committee which has general jurisdiction over federal agriculture policy including agriculture, forestry, nutrition, water conservation, and other agriculture-related fields. The Committee can recommend funding appropriations for various governmental agencies, programs, and activities, as defined by House rules.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture – cosponsored the Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2019, legislation to remove a major hurdle for American farmers and ranchers to selling American agricultural products in the Cuban market. The bipartisan bill would support jobs in Kansas and across the country by lifting restrictions on private financing for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.
“This bipartisan legislation, which would allow for the private financing of ag exports to Cuba, represents an important step forward in our work to open Cuban markets for Kansas farmers and ranchers,” said Sen. Moran. “With low commodity prices and an ongoing trade war, our producers can only benefit from increased market access.”
The 2018 Farm Bill took steps to help American agriculture access the Cuban market by allowing funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs for U.S. agricultural products to be used in Cuba. However, the biggest barrier for producers as they seek access to Cuba is the Trade Sanctions and Reform Act (TSRA) prohibition on providing private credit for those exports, which forces Cubans to pay with cash up front for American-grown food. As a result, American farm goods have become less competitive, and Cuba has turned to other countries who are able to directly extend credit to Cuban buyers for transactions. This bill would amend the TSRA to allow for private financing of agricultural exports and level the playing field for American farmers competing in the global market.
The legislation is authored by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and is cosponsored by U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
Item to note:
- In March, 2017, Sen. Moran introduced the Cuba Trade Act of 2017, legislation that would fully restore trade with Cuba.