Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan

Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence will travel to Michigan on Wednesday to meet with auto industry workers and push the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which faces an uncertain path to ratification in Congress.

Pence will tour a Ford truck plant in Dearborn and meet with auto suppliers in Taylor, which is located about 20 miles southwest of Detroit, the White House announced in a release. The vice president is expected to promote the benefits of the newly negotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

The vice president's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE repeatedly railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) prior to and during his time in office and pledged to scrap it in favor of a new pact. The U.S. reached an agreement with Mexico and Canada in October, but it remains uncertain whether Congress will ratify the deal.

While Canada and Mexico are expected to approve the USMCA, some congressional Democrats say its provisions on environmental and labor protections are too weak to earn their support.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg would support delaying Libra | More attorneys general join Facebook probe | Defense chief recuses from 'war cloud' contract | Senate GOP blocks two election security bills | FTC brings case against 'stalking' app developer MORE (D-Calif.) said Mexico would have to reform its labor laws before she would consider bringing the trade deal to a vote in the House.

Trump late last year threatened to formally terminate NAFTA, ratcheting up pressure on Congress to adopt the USMCA.

The White House sent out a fact sheet earlier Tuesday highlighting media coverage that underscored some of the positive aspects of the USMCA, should it become law.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a report last week that projected the USMCA would increase economic growth by 0.35 percent, or $68.2 billion.

Under the new agreement, U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico would increase and the trade deficit with Mexico would be reduced by $1.8 billion, the ITC found. The bilateral trade deficit with Canada would stay about the same.

The report projected that auto industry jobs in parts and engine production would increase by 30,000, but that the number of auto assembly jobs would decrease and U.S. vehicle prices would rise.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to save manufacturing jobs, and he has regularly touted new investments in U.S. factories and the overall strength of the economy.

Pence's trip comes as he and Trump seek to defend Rust Belt states that were key to their 2020 election victory. Trump will hold a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday.