Even in her fevered rush to impeach President Trump by Christmas, Nancy Pelosi took a timeout to pass Trump's historic USMCA trade deal. Just one hour after unveiling two articles of impeachment against the president, Pelosi was declaring the trade deal a win "for workers everywhere across America." A month later, the Senate passed USMCA, fulfilling one of Trump's signature 2016 campaign promises, in a vote of 89-10.
On CNN, the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told host Fareed Zakaria that USMCA "is one of the greatest trade deals of all time."
"With regards to this deal," Kushner began, "what is so spectacular about this deal is first of all it modernizes all of our trade policies ... but the most important thing it does is it protects American manufacturing. It changes the rules for cars. Under TPP, you could have made 90 percent of the car outside North America and shipped it in with no tariff. Now, 75 percent of the car has to be made in North America with a lot of it being high-dollar components which protects the auto manufacturers in Michigan, Ohio -- all these different places."
Kushner blamed the irresponsible trade policies in the past for hurting American manufacturing workers.
"But what I will say is that when a lot of these trade deals were done, NAFTA and China joining the WTO, we had about 70,000 factories that left America and closed down since then ... so you would have a lot of these towns where the factory would get closed because the product line would get shipped overseas. A lot of these communities became hollowed out economically because of these irresponsible trade policies and no way to transition workers who are in these situations to better and different jobs as the economy evolves."
President Trump has called the USMCA trade bill the "best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA," tweeting that the bill was good "for everybody."
America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody - Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions - tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
Echoing his father-in-law, Kushner told Zakaria that he also considers the trade deal to be one of the greatest of all time.
"I do think that President Trump says all the time the era of economic surrender is over," Kushner continued, "and I think that this trade deal with 89 votes in the Senate is being praised as one of the greatest trade deals of all time. It's the largest trade deal in the history of the world, at $1.3 trillion dollars a year in trade, and it will add about a half a point of GDP to America's economy a year, bring about 200,000 jobs to America, maybe even as much as 500,000 jobs ..."
No doubt the president will take a victory lap for delivering USMCA when he delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Jared Kushner on the USMCA??— GOP (@GOP) February 2, 2020
“It is one of the greatest trade deals of all time.” pic.twitter.com/fEfaVZdxf3