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Collins, Higgins comment on trade agreement


Mon, Oct 1st 2018 08:35 pm
Congressman Chris Collins, R-NY-27, praised President Donald Trump and his administration for reaching a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada to be called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
USMCA will make significant changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which, Collins said, will put the U.S. on more equal footing with the other nations. Specifically with regard to the dairy industry, he said, Canada's pricing program has created an unfair playing field and has essentially eliminated U.S. exports of certain dairy products, harming Western New York's dairy industry.
"Today's announcement is proof that House Republicans under President Trump's leadership are getting our nation back on track and standing up for American interests," Collins said. "President Trump has stood with Western New York's dairy farmers to protect this industry and make sure American farmers are being treated fairly. The USMCA is a big win for Western New York and I applaud the president's hard work."
Collins has fought to end Canada's Class 7 pricing program, which he said has severely impacted New York dairy farmers. Under the USMCA, Canada has agreed to eliminate this program in order to level the playing field between the U.S. and Canada while allowing local dairy producers the ability to expand sales overseas.
Outside of the dairy industry, this trade agreement will increase the production of American goods and services. The agreement requires 75 percent of auto content be produced in North America and makes reforms that will boost autoworkers' wages. Additionally, the USMCA includes labor provisions that prioritize and protect American manufacturing jobs.
Furthermore, the agreement provides protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. This includes 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs and a large scope of products eligible for protection. Collins said these reforms are critical to driving innovation, creating economic growth, and supporting American jobs. 
Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, released the following statement in response to the announcement of a new trilateral trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico:
"We are pleased to see the renegotiated NAFTA deal includes, as it should, one of our greatest allies and trading partners, Canada. The NAFTA of 1994, was a bad deal, leading to American job loss, that lacked the enforcement measures necessary to hold partners accountable and was in desperate in need of fixing. We are continuing to review the details of this new agreement to see if it meets the test of protecting American workers."
Established in 1994, NAFTA is an arrangement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico addressing trade issues between the three nations. In July of 2017, the administration sent Congress a plan to renegotiate NAFTA. A new negotiated preliminary agreement between the three countries, renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, was recently announced.
Higgins, a member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, traveled to Montreal, Canada, in January for round six of NAFTA discussions and was outspoken in committee discussions about the need for a new agreement to include enforcement measures that address worker protections and the environment.
Higgins' Western New York district shares a border with Southern Ontario.

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