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Vice President Pence pushes trade deal during Pleasant Prairie visit, denounces Democrats

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MARINETTE, Wis. (CBS 58/AP) -- Vice President Mike Pence said during a stop in Wisconsin that pressure should be put on Democrats to pass a new trade pact.

Pence spoke Wednesday to employees and others at shipping and packaging materials distributor Uline in Pleasant Prairie, a company owned by Republican megadonors Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein.

Pence said he came to Wisconsin "to turn up the heat" on Wisconsin's U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin to pass the deal known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Kind represents western Wisconsin in Congress. He says, "gains achieved for Wisconsin dairy farmers, workers, and families do not exist unless this deal is fully enforceable." Kind says House Democrats are working to ensure the deal meets that standard and is waiting for the Trump administration to "step up and finalize" it.

Baldwin says she will look at the final legislation when it comes to the Senate to make sure the pact "stops the outsourcing of Wisconsin manufacturing jobs and is a fair deal for our workers."

The pact would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Vice President says the proposal that would replace NAFTA would specifically help Wisconsin manufacturing and dairy farmers. He also responded to criticism that the President's trade wars are hurting Wisconsin's economy.

Vice President Mike Pence says the USMCA is good for Wisconsin manufacturing. The deal would force more car parts to be made in America to workers at higher wages. But Pence says one of the best components of the agreements for Wisconsin is opening up the Canadian dairy market for U.S. farmers.

"Canada in particular had begun to implement some changes to the dairy industry in Canada that were really working against dairy farmers in the Midwest," Pence said. "Especially here in Wisconsin. President Trump rolled his sleeves up and drove a hard bargain."

Pence was asked about Harley-Davidson and the trade wars that forced them to move some production overseas, as well as Wisconsin farmers who say trade wars are hurting the bottom line. 

"Whatever challenges we face as we take a strong stand with China, or with other nations around the world, that America is open for business, and that we're ready to do business with nations all over the world if they're willing to deal with our workers and our businesses," he said.

The USMCA has been signed by the leaders of all three countries involved, despite Democrat leaders saying they support. 

Pence was also asked about the impeachment process. He says he wants Congress to get back to work on thins like the USMCA. President Trump recently said he wanted more backing from Republicans on impeachment. Pence said he thinks Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has provided a lot of support.

Pence appeared at Uline after canceling a stop earlier in the day in Marinette so he could appear with President Donald Trump in Washington when he gave a statement on Syria.


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