Portman Highlights Choice for Congress: A Vote Against USMCA is a Vote For NAFTA

July 18, 2019 | Portman Difference

In a new interview with AEI’s Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen on their “What the Hell is Going On” podcast, Senator Portman discussed U.S. trade relations with China, the ongoing negotiations between the two countries, and the prospects of Congress passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement this year.  Portman, who delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting the economic benefits of USMCA earlier this week, said on the podcast that Democrats face a stark choice because a vote against USMCA is a vote for the status quo NAFTA agreement.

An excerpt of the podcast can be found below and the full podcast is available here:

Question: So what’s the over under on getting the USMCA done this year?

Portman: I think it’s going to get done for a very simple reason. Which is, logic will ultimately prevail but maybe I’m the optimist around here. But maybe I’m just pollyannaish.

Question: That is going to be our headline…Logic will ultimately prevail…From the U.S. Congress.

Portman: It is such a better agreement for Democrats than NAFTA and that’s the alternative. I mean if you are a Democrat you are essentially voting for NAFTA if you vote “no” on USMCA.  Why?  Because you go back to the status quo, which is NAFTA.  NAFTA will be the status quo. And it has no enforcement on labor standards, it has no enforcement on environmental standards. This new agreement in every respect is better if you are a Democrat. And by the way I am for it too cause we needed to update it.  And there are some good things in there and there are some things that I am not wild about.  But overall, on balance it is a better agreement for Ohio. But for a Democrat, you know, it is everything that they have been asking for in terms of improving the NAFTA accord.