U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday announced that her caucus will support the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the replacement to NAFTA negotiated by President Donald Trump’s administration.
The ratification process, which needs to be complete by all three countries, will now move forward in Congress.
Pelosi’s announcement came the day after four Republican members of the Alabama legislature sent a letter urging Pelosi and her fellow congressional leaders to ratify the new trade agreement.
Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), along with State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) and State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy), joined other state legislative leaders from across the country in sending the letter on Monday.
During its 2019 regular session, the Alabama legislature passed SJR 11 sponsored by Sen. Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), formally urging Congress to ratify the USMCA. The resolution was carried by Rep. Allen in the House and was co-sponsored by Marsh.
In a Tuesday statement, Marsh said, “Trade is an issue which is vital to our state and our nation, and my colleagues in Alabama and from around the country recognize that the USMCA is a good deal for everyone involved.”
“I am glad that Members from both sides of the aisle were able to come together and agree that this is the best deal to ensure that the strongest economy in our lifetime continues to grow,” he added.
The USMCA is supported by the Alabama Farmers Federation, Manufacture Alabama and other major industries in the state. You can view a fact sheet on the USMCA pertaining to the Yellowhammer State here — and specifically its manufacturing sector here.
In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Tuesday, Business Council of Alabama (BCA) president and CEO Katie Boyd Britt said, “The Business Council of Alabama is encouraged by the news of a bipartisan agreement on USMCA.”
“Farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses all stand to benefit from an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has modern provisions for digital trade, financial services, and agriculture trade. We will continue to review this issue with input from our members as more details emerge,” she concluded.
Political candidates and elected officials across Alabama have also expressed their support for the USMCA over the last year. This includes Governor Kay Ivey.
In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Tuesday, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) called the latest development “great news,” adding, “Barring any surprises in the final language, I look forward to supporting this agreement.”
“I have consistently supported the idea of a new strategic trade agreement with Mexico and Canada – especially an agreement that would bring stability to the businesses and markets that are desperately seeking reassurance right now,” Jones advised.
“Although I haven’t seen the text of the final agreement yet, the fact that the White House and the House of Representatives were able to work out a bipartisan agreement is great news,” he outlined. “Barring any surprises in the final language, I look forward to supporting this agreement. I hope once it passes, we can build on this success by working with other allies around the globe and removing the threat of punitive tariffs on our farmers and automakers once and for all.”
Jones has previously spoken out against the president’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico if the country did not stem the flow of illegal aliens into the United States. Jones has also been vocal against Trump imposing tariffs on China and the president’s trade policy in general.
The latest on the USMCA comes as the House Judiciary Committee is set to draw up two articles of impeachment against the president, which are expected to pass the House with only Democrats voting for them.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday said he will not take up ratification of the USMCA until the Senate has finished with what appears to be an imminent impeachment trial.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn