Advance Notice: Briefs

Dingell: Trump trade deal ‘a bad bill’ that doesn’t have her vote

By: - May 20, 2019 10:55 am

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.

Fox host Maria Bartiromo (left) and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (left)

“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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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.