August 26, 2019
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Federal Issues

Pence to Congress: Let's pass the USMCA

Vice President Mike Pence visited swing congressional districts last week, part of an informal campaign to urge Congress to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Associated Press reports.

Pence visited Artesia, New Mexico on Wednesday, in the heart of the booming Permian Basin oil fields. He suggested the trade deal will result in more energy infrastructure, reporter Morgan Lee wrote.

“We need to pass the USMCA and that’s going to open the door to a boundless future of American energy,” Pence said.

He urged the audience to contact New Mexico’s congressional delegation, which is all Democratic this year.

The agreement was signed by leaders from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. last November after lengthy negotiations. The president has hailed it as a major win for U.S. manufacturing.

But enabling legislation requires approval from the House and Senate. House Democrats are looking for greater concessions on labor and environmental provisions, Lee writes, and are also reluctant to hand the president a trade victory as the 2020 election approaches.

Pence appears to be on a pragmatic path to rally local business and community leaders to the trade-pact cause while members of Congress are home during the August recess, William Reinsch of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the news agency.

“The issue is the House and the issue is the Democrats,” Reinsch said. “If Pence is smart, he is going to areas where the Democratic congressmen are undecided.” Pence also visited Salt Lake City on Thursday.

For more information about federal affairs, contact Amy Anderson at

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Support for Ex-Im Bank Grows

In Our View: Congress must reauthorize Ex-Im Bank now

By The Columbian Editorial Board

For 85 years, the federal Export-Import Bank has helped American corporations compete in the global marketplace. Now it is in need of reauthorization from Congress.

In recent years in Clark County, the bank has supported companies such as Conquest Consulting Group, Northwest Natural Products and Neil Jones Food Company. Across Washington, it has supported companies large and small in every region. About 90 percent of businesses that use Ex-Im Bank services are small businesses that provide local jobs and contribute to the local tax base.

The Ex-Im Bank, which provides and guarantees loans to help foreign entities make purchases from U.S. companies, is particularly important in our state, where an estimated 40 percent of all jobs are tied in some fashion to international trade...

Read the full editorial in The Columbian