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Congressman John Joyce: Clock is ticking on USMCA

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Currently sitting before Congress is the opportunity to enact a historic reform that will transform America's economy for generations to come.

But the clock is ticking. There are under three weeks before lawmakers head home for the August district work period, and we owe it our constituents not to depart Washington before we take up the new trade agreement President Trump has negotiated with Canada and Mexico, also known as the USMCA. The USMCA will benefit every district in America, as it will lead to 176,000 new jobs and grow the U.S. economy by an additional $68.2 billion. And the agreement will also be a huge win for Pennsylvania's 13th District in particular. Our region is made up of so many hardworking dairy farmers who have struggled in recent years due to the regulatory hurdles imposed by the previous administration. This deal will unleash new markets and reinvigorate our agriculture industry, increasing dairy exports to Canada by a total of $227 million.

We are also home to a large number of manufacturing plants that will benefit tremendously from the USMCA. Canada and Mexico are the two largest foreign purchasers of American goods and support more than two million factory jobs across the country, so expanding those pipelines will drive opportunities for manufacturing companies in our area to grow and expand.

As our factory workers and farmers will be incentivized to ramp up production, our vast distribution sector will have to rise to the occasion as well. The 13th District will play a critical role in making sure that all U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico, which will increase by 5.9 percent and 6.6 percent respectively under the USMCA, will get there in a timely and cost effective manner. And as a member of the House Small Business Committee, it is exciting that we will have a our first ever trade deal that includes a section dedicated to cutting the red tape American small business owners face when trying to export their goods and services. The more than 100,000 small businesses in PA-13 will surely have an easier time prospering after the USMCA is enacted. With all the economic upsides the USMCA will provide for our constituents, one would think it would be Congress' primary focus during the month of July. Unfortunately, it does not look like that will be the case. Nancy Pelosi is going to allow members of her party to spend the coming weeks pursuing their Mueller Mulligan. The Democrats in the House are gearing up to rehash an endless investigation, hauling the Special Counsel in to testify before Congress to tell us everything we already know from his report. Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election were fully examined during a two year, $25 million investigation consisting of 2,800 subpoenas and 500 witness interviews. The result of that inquiry was no collusion and no obstruction by President Trump, and Congress should be moving on to focus on the business of the American people. We do not have the time to rewind the clock. It would be completely irresponsible of House Democrats to hold the USMCA and American farmers hostage to focus instead on their futile attempt to damage President Trump.

Common sense legislators in both parties should not allow this to happen and keep their eyes on the ball.My goal for the remainder of July is to reach across the aisle and ensure the USCMA is approved. I will work with all Democrats who share that vision and its urgency. Let's put politics aside and prioritize the paychecks of our constituents. Let's end the partisan investigations and remember why we were elected in the first place.

We have a true opportunity this month to make everyday life better for all of those who sent us to Washington. Failure to act would be a giant misuse of taxpayer time, and Congress cannot let that happen on our watch.

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