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Dec 10, 201912:33 PMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Will clock run out on U.S., Canada, Mexico trade deal? Let’s hope not

(page 2 of 2)

There were signs of a breakthrough in late summer, but they have given way to inaction — so much so that some observers have begun to question whether House Democrats are able to juggle the mechanics of an impeachment process and a major trade deal at the same time.

Failure to do so has its consequences. Wisconsin is a state that relies on trade. The state’s largest trade markets by far are Canada and Mexico, and passage of USMCA could expand those relationships.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trade with Canada and Mexico directly or indirectly supports 231,000 Wisconsin jobs and accounts for $10.9 billion in all exports. Leading categories are industrial machinery, electric machinery, medical equipment, vehicles, plastics, and paper, as well as a mix of agricultural products.

Wisconsin’s split House delegation, especially, can lead the way by underscoring the state’s reliance on trade and by making it clear the Midwest is generally more sensitive to trade barriers than other parts of the country.

Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s time for the House to sink its teeth into reaching a compromise on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

UPDATE, 12/10/19: Congressional leaders today announced they have reached a deal with the Trump administration to advance the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal. The tentative accord now goes to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for an up-or-down vote.

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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