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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman for bringing this issue to light and for holding this Special Order, and, of course, my colleagues who are with me here today.
All of us who are probably older than the age of 25 have watched, probably in every State in the Union, certainly in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, every little town that you drove through in the State that I am privileged to represent, every little town had some small business, or maybe two or three: a shoe factory, a dress factory. One of the little towns south of us had a cigar factory or two.
Over the course of my adult lifetime, those little factories, those small employers in every single town have left. The reason they left is multiple, but one of them is because the trade deals that were signed by previous administrations encouraged them to leave. They encouraged our competitors to take them over, and we closed up shop. We lost those jobs. Our folks in America had to go find work elsewhere and get retraining elsewhere.
It has been 25 years since NAFTA was enacted. Twenty-five years is a long time. Things were different 25 years ago. There wasn't e-commerce. We weren't all thinking about a globalized economy.
Now these antiquated laws that we are living under are holding back our American economy. If we would just pass the USMCA--it is in the hands of the Speaker right now. If we would just pass it, 176,000 new jobs, $68 billion in growth to our economy.
Instead of being worried about trading with China and being concerned with what China is going to do, we could trade with people we really agree with who are right on the other side of our border: Canada and Mexico. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
We need to modernize our laws, and that starts by allowing the USMCA to go through. That framework should be considered today. We need free and fair trade. We don't have that right now.
We must pass the USMCA to bolster quality, family-sustaining jobs in America, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other States around our country.
The USMCA is a win for the American worker. It is great to help out our neighbors around the globe, but our responsibility first is right here at home in our States, like the State of Pennsylvania where I am privileged to come from.
The USMCA is a great start and a strategic win. Today I am calling on House leadership to allow for the consideration of the USMCA without any further delay. Let the chips fall where they may. Put it on the floor, and let's see what happens. I suspect it will pass, which means the will of the people will be done and we can get to work working more with our allies and our friends and doing better for Americans.
Quite honestly, while China is waiting to make a trade deal, one of the reasons they are waiting is because this Congress won't approve one in the USMCA. They are saying: Why should we come negotiate with America when their Congress won't approve what we negotiate?
We need to show them that we will approve it; we do stand with the American people and the American worker. We need a better deal with China, too, and it starts with the USMCA.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for allowing me the time and for bringing this issue to the forefront.
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