WOODSTOCK, Vt.- Gov. Phil Scott is calling on Congress to approve the new trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico.
Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, both Republicans, published an op-ed on the matter Sunday, arguing that the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement favors the New England region.
“On behalf of the residents of our states, we look forward to strengthening our partnerships with Canada under the new agreement and we urge Congress to give it prompt consideration and move swiftly forward with ratification,” they wrote in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
The USMCA would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA.
Scott was critical of the Trump administration during negotiations. But at a Tuesday press conference in Woodstock, he said he is happy with the final product and urged lawmakers to “finalize this and not politicize this.”
“Take it up in Congress and pass it, so it doesn’t become more fodder in this next political campaign cycle because it’s too important to Vermont and the country,” he said.
The International Trade Commission estimates the USMCA will create 176,000 jobs in the US and raise GDP by $68.2 billion.
In Washington on Tuesday, the Senate Finance committee heard testimony from representatives from the automotive, agriculture and trucking industries, who said they expected considerable benefits from the deal.
But House Democrats want changes, including stronger protections for workers and the environment. They also oppose a provision that gives pharmaceutical companies protection from generic competition in a category of ultra-expensive drugs called biologics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.