By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Vice President Mike Pence visited the Detroit area, including the Ford Truck Plant in Dearborn April 24 to push for the approval of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
During his visit, Pence talked with and shook hands of employees, checked out a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor and rolled a 2019 Ford F-150 off the assembly line alongside Plant Manager Deborah Manzano, assistant plant managers and Ford Motor Co. Executive Vice President Joe Hinrichs.
Before visiting the truck plant, 3001 Miller Road, Pence attended in a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in Detroit. Pence’s final stop in the area was at Motor City Solutions, 25098 Brest Road in Taylor, where he spoke about the trade agreement.
“It really is an honor for me to be with all the leaders of the automotive industry here in Michigan, Pence said at the vehicle restoration and customization facility. “In fact, I just visited the Ford truck plant in Dearborn, and I’ve got to tell you, America’s autoworkers are the best people in the world. I was so impressed.”
In his closing statements Pence told the crowd it is time to step forward and deliver for the American people.
“As the American automotive industry prospers, America prospers,” he said. “And with the USMCA ratified and agreed to between the United States and Canada and Mexico, I promise you, the best is yet to come for the automotive industry in Michigan and in America.”
The USMCA is, “a mutually beneficial win for North American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses,” the USMCA website read. “When finalized and implemented, the agreement will create more balanced, reciprocal trade that supports high-paying jobs for Americans and grows the North American economy.”
Three of the agreement’s highlights include, creating a more level playing field for American workers, including improved rules of origin for automobiles, trucks, other products, and disciplines on currency manipulation; benefiting American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses by modernizing and strengthening food and agriculture trade in North America; and supporting a 21st century economy through new protections for U.S. intellectual property, and ensuring opportunities for trade in U.S. services.
The USMCA was signed by Trump on Nov. 30 and would take effect in 2020 with reviews every six years, an expiration year of 2036 or extension year of 2052.
Starting next year, workers earning an average production wage of $16 per hour must account for 30 percent of vehicle production and that number raises to 40 percent in 2023.
For more information on the USMCA go to www.ustr.gov.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)