President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters Friday, morning, April 5, 2019, outside the South Portico entrance of the White House, prior to leaving for his visit to Calexico, Calif. | Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr Public Domain
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) appeared on Fox News over the weekend to discuss the Trump administration’s proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), saying it doesn’t go far enough to protect U.S. labor interests.
“We’ve made progress in Mexico [with] the labor provisions, but it’s got to be stronger on enforcement of those labor provisions,” Dingell said, adding that “General Motors put a Blazer [truck] plant in Mexico and is paying $1.50 an hour and we’re competing with that salary; it’s not tough enough.”
Dingell also raised her concern over pharmaceutical provisions in the USMCA that Democrats say could increase drug prices. She voted last week to pass a package of bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that are aimed at lowering drug prices, although those bills are likely to face defeat in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Deflecting a claim from Fox host Maria Bartiromo that voting against the bill could potentially put over 100,000 jobs at risk, Dingell said “I’m never going to vote against a job, but I’m not going to vote for a bad bill.”
Dingell is the latest in a string of Michigan Democrats who have criticized the Trump administration’s trade agenda, following U.S. Sen. Gary Peters’ (D-Bloomfield Twp.) remarks last week saying “there doesn’t seem to be a plan” with regard to the administration’s tariff program, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer saying in February that she doesn’t “know if [Trump] understands the gravity” of said tariffs.
Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Southeast Michigan last month before a group of automakers wary of Trump’s tariffs and eager for resolution over the potential transition from NAFTA to the new USMCA, urging them to lobby for the latter’s swift passage.
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