WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a committee business meeting.
At the business meeting, the committee advanced H.R. 5430, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act by a vote of 16 to 4.
To watch the full business meeting, click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Before we begin the markup, I want to take a moment to congratulate and thank the senators on our committee who worked to pass two important pieces of legislation through the Senate this past week.
“On Thursday, the Senate passed the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act.
“Senator Sullivan and Senator Whitehouse partnered together to shepherd this bill through the Senate.
“Both of them were on the floor of the Senate last evening talking about all of the benefits of this legislation that passed our committee unanimously as well as the Senate unanimously.
“The legislation will help reduce the amount of plastic waste floating in our oceans, and will spur innovative solutions to prevent more plastic pollution.
“Also on Thursday, the Senate passed America’s Conservation Enhancement Act or the ACE Act.
“Ranking Member Carper and I introduced the ACE Act.
“Senators Cramer, Cardin, Capito, Van Hollen, Inhofe, and Boozman joined as cosponsors.
“The ACE Act helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat.
“The legislation addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases, like Chronic Wasting Disease.
“It protects livestock from predators, and it combats invasive species.
“The ACE Act has received broad support from states, environmental groups, and stakeholders.
“Now, the Senate has passed the legislation unanimously.
“The House of Representatives should follow our lead and pass this historic, bipartisan conservation legislation into law.
“In today’s markup, we will consider one bill, H.R. 5430, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act.
“President Trump promised a strong, fair, and updated trade agreement with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico.
“President Trump has delivered on his promise.
“The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – also known as USMCA – was signed by the leadership of all three countries more than a year ago.
“Mexico gave its final approval of the agreement last June.
“Canada is waiting for us, here in Congress, to approve the agreement before taking it up.
“It is critical that Congress approves this trade deal to continue to fuel America’s strong, healthy, and growing economy.
“H.R. 5430 will implement the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
“At the end of last year, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to approve the legislation.
“The bipartisan vote tally was 385 to 41.
“There is good reason for the broad support.
“USMCA builds on the certainty and progress achieved through recent trade agreements with Japan and China.
“It is going to expand market access for a host of U.S. products, and it will sharpen U.S. exporters' competitive edge.
“Trade is certainly very important for my home state of Wyoming.
“We trade our agricultural and energy products, including our number one cash crop – beef, all around the world.
“Above all, USMCA will benefit American workers.
“The agreement will protect and create millions of jobs here in the United States.
“American manufacturers overwhelmingly support USMCA.
“It isn’t perfect, but it’s still a win for American workers and families.
“It is also a win for the environment.
“The United States already has strong environmental protections.
“The phrase ‘made in America’ is good for the environment.
“The agreement does not change those protections or give Washington new authorities to regulate.
“Instead, the agreement recognizes that our partners should have strong environmental records like we do.
“Our committee is one of several Senate committees that have jurisdiction over the legislation.
“Under fast track rules, the committee cannot amend the bill.
“We will vote today only on whether to favorably report the bill.
“I urge my colleagues to support passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, so we can continue to support our strong, healthy, and growing economy.”