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Bryan Starr, US Chamber of Commerce Urge Congressional Passage of USMCA

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

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As a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 (CCC100), Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber, has taken an active and consequential role in advocating for the congressional passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

During a September visit to Washington, D.C., Starr and other chamber executives from across the nation convened to discuss how the new North American trade agreement will bolster American businesses, local economies, and the national economy; and detrimental effects should it not pass ratification.

Irvine is the economic center and economic powerhouse of Orange County. Our companies—whether global organizations or local businesses—have a significant impact on the region’s trade economy. To ensure we continue to succeed economically, the congressional passage of the USMCA is vitally important to Irvine,” Starr said.

Through the Greater Irvine Chamber’s export and trade services alone, roughly 1,500 trade documents are certified for Irvine businesses each year.

During the meeting with CCC100, Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber, provided an update on the organization’s work to clear a path for a congressional vote on the USMCA.  

“Our view is that Congress must approve USMCA before Thanksgiving. A delay beyond that date risks this critical priority becoming entangled in election-year politics,” he said.

Donohue indicated that lawmakers seem motivated to “get important things done” despite political turmoil and he sees signs that bipartisan support is building and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has shown her leadership and commitment to the legislation.

Speaker Pelosi said unprompted during a recent press conference, “In case anybody is interested, we’re moving ahead on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal recently asked the Democratic Caucus to “proceed with optimism” surrounding the agreement. For their part, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal urging action on USMCA.

“With these bipartisan expressions of support, now is the time to go all in on USMCA and push it across the finish line,” Donohue said.

The U.S. Chamber has launched a campaign in a dozen House districts urging approval of the agreement. The urgent need for Congress to preserve and strengthen trade ties with our two most important trade partners is stressed in a #USMCAnow video.

Starr also met with representatives on the same topic while in the nation’s capital.

“The Greater Irvine Chamber continues to encourage our Orange County congressional representatives to vote in favor of passage when the agreement goes to the floor,” Starr said.

“We’re grateful for the partnerships we have with Orange County members of Congress, their understanding of the importance of trade, and their willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion with the president in order to accomplish America’s economic prosperity.”

Members of the House of Representatives are being called on to focus on #USMCAnow by meeting with local businesses and chambers of commerce during the October recess to understand why it is critical that Congress approve the agreement without delay.

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Category: Advocacy, International Trade, Chamber News, Partner News

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