Vice President Mike Pence returned to the keystone state on Thursday to tour a crane facility in Franklin County and press Congress to pass the USMCA trade pact.
“It’s a good deal for America. It’s a good deal for Pennsylvania, and we’ve got to get it done this year,” Pence said according to PennLive.
During Pence’s 20 plus minute address, he said the proposed trade agreement that would replace NAFTA would put American workers first, fulfilling a campaign promise from the Trump administration. Pence has described the USMCA as a “trade deal for the 21st Century” and said the Trump administration has already had a positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy.
Great being in PA today with Acting Secretary @PatPizzellaDOL and @aemadvisor! Manufacturing has come roaring back to life under President @realDonaldTrump’s leadership and thanks to American made companies, our economy and American manufacturing are rallying across the US! pic.twitter.com/jWysMnuVsF
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) August 1, 2019
This was Pence’s second visit since June to South Central PA to boost the proposed trade pact. In early June, Pence visited a manufacturing facility in York County with a few members of the state’s congressional delegation before he headlined a state party dinner in Camp Hill, where he talked about the importance of retaining the state in 2020 and touted the Trump administration’s trade and border policies.
During this visit, he was joined by Rep. John Joyce (R-Altoona), who credited the Trump administration for enacting “conservative, pro-growth policies” and described passing the USMCA as a top priority.
“There is one pivotal priority that we need to help President Trump and Vice President Pence deliver on and that’s trade,” Joyce said. “President Trump and Vice President Pence negotiated a great new trade agreement.”
“This legislation is a homerun for America,” he continued.
Although some members of Pennsylvania’s Republican delegation have rallied around the proposed trade deal, the highest ranking GOP elected official in the state has spoken out against it, Sen. Pat Toomey. In recent months, Toomey has voiced his opposition to the current form of the USMCA and spoke out against it as recently as last week.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari reports that Toomey was rallying against the deal last week speaking in front of a sign that read “NAFTA>USMCA.”
PoliticsPA is seeking comment from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Republican Party on Pence’s visit.