VP Pence pushes proposed new trade deal during Eau Claire stop

Vice President Mike Pence, center, with U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky and J&D Manufacturing Owner and President Tracy Trippler in Eau Claire last week.   twitter.com/VP

American manufacturing is seeing new life under President Donald Trump and the economic climate will get even better under the administration's proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, Vice President Mike Pence said during a promotion stop in Eau Claire last week.

"Now we’ve seen nearly half a million manufacturing jobs already created by businesses large and small, businesses just like those represented here and like J&D Manufacturing," Pence said during a round table discussion at J&D Manufacturing on May 16. "But I’m anxious to hear from all of you about how we can continue to go forward, because we have a tremendous opportunity to see the Congress pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the coming days."

Pence's stop in Eau Clair is part of his nationwide tour to promote the USMCA. Today the vice president is in Florida as part of that promotional tour.

"I’ve been traveling around the country, on the president’s behalf, making the case for the USMCA. It is a — it’s a win for American manufacturing, it’s a win for American farmers," Pence said in Eau Clair last week. "And we’re calling on the Congress to pass the USMCA and pass the USMCA this year."

The USMCA, which would replace the now decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), still must be approved by Congress.

J&D Manufacturing is a family-owned company that produces ventilation systems for agricultural customers.

During the round table discussion, Pence sat between J&D Manufacturing Owner and President Tracy Trippler and U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky and asked area business leaders and legislators last week to contact their congressional representatives about USMCA passage. He specifically mentioned Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district Rep. Ron Kind, a Democrat who has served in Congress since 1997.

"I will tell you, candidly, Congressman Ron Kind looms large in the House of Representatives," Pence said. "I’ve served with him for 12 years. He’s a highly respected member of the Congress."

During his separate remarks to J&D Manufacturing employees, Pence referred to NAFTA and what replacing the older agreement with the USMCA will mean to working people.

"We all remember NAFTA, adopted back in the mid-1990s, and I don’t have to tell people across the industrial heartland about the impact that NAFTA had on our communities," Pence told J&D Manufacturing employees. "Down in the Hoosier State, we literally saw almost entire communities shuttered as factories closed after NAFTA and moved south of the border. But those days are over. I promise you, the USMCA is now a level playing field that puts American jobs, American workers, American manufacturing and American farmers first. It truly does."

Pence also referred to the previous administration, during which he said 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost and that former President Barack Obama said that the nation wouldn't get those jobs back.

"The last president actually spoke about the loss of manufacturing jobs and he said - and I quote - 'What magic wand do you have' to bring them back?" Pence said to J&D Manufacturing employees. "Well, we didn’t need a 'magic wand.' We just needed President Donald Trump in the White House."

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