Midwest farmers, factory workers losing patience with NAFTA redo

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Opinion

December 2, 2019 - 9:36 AM

When President Donald Trump signed a new agreement to replace NAFTA, a lot of people who depend on borderless commerce — many of them Midwest exporters of manufactured and agricultural goods — breathed a sigh of relief. After 15 months of arduous negotiations, the specter of harmful trade barriers rising on our northern and southern borders was finally gone.

So we thought. But a year later, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has yet to come into effect. That’s mainly because the U.S. Congress has yet to approve it. The main inaction is in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who earlier this month said, “I would like to see it done this year,” has since indicated the House probably won’t stick to that schedule.

But Pelosi should use all means at her disposal to see that it does. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., tells us, “I think we have time, and we have bipartisan support.” What is needed, he says, is a recognition by House members that in trade deals, “you don’t get everything you want.” Compromise is the name of the game.

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