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NAFTA redux: Vern Buchanan visits the White House, meeting with Trump and other Republican members on the USMCA whip team. Image via White House/Tia Dufour.

Federal

Vern Buchanan heralds deal on U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement

He worked with the White House on rallying support in Congress.

The co-chair of Florida’s Congressional Delegation praised a new version of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan called the replacement for the much maligned North American Free Trade Agreement a “landmark.”

“International trade is critical to my home state of Florida, where exports and imports support 2.3 million jobs,” the Sarasota Republican said. “Leveling the playing field for Florida and the rest of the nation, as well as increasing access to foreign markets is critical to growing the U.S. economy and creating good-paying jobs.”

Buchanan’s remarks came the same day House Democrats and the White House announced an agreement. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference called the trade pact “a victory for America’s workers.”

President Donald Trump on Twitter wrote: “America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody — Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions — tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!”

Buchanan, the top Republican on the House Trade Subcommittee, has worked with House leaders and the White House on he deal.

He noted Florida exports over $12 billion worth of goods and services to Canada and Mexico annually. Those exports support more than 700,000 jobs.

He predicts the deal as finalized will boost the economy by $68 billion and create another 175,000 new jobs.

“The announcement today marks an important step toward finally updating and modernizing 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,” Buchanan said.

The new deal has drawn skepticism for many in Florida, including from Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, an Orlando Democrat.

But Buchanan has maintained the deal will help Florida ports. Addressing fears of agriculture, Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Jacksonville Democrat, have also worked on legislation to combat unfair trade practices in Mexico. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has run companion legislation in the Senate.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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