tv Gov. Ducey Chamber of Commerce News Conference on Trade CSPAN September 18, 2019 1:35am-2:08am EDT
>> arizona governor doug ducey joined u.s. chamber of commerce executives tom donahue and neil bradley to talk about the united states-canada-mexico trade agreement. they called for congress to ratify the usmca. mr. donahue: businesses all over the country have a voice in washington. this meeting comes at an important time for businesses from arizona to new york and elsewhere in between.
there are growing questions about the strength and the direction of our economy. uncertainty, stemming from the u.s.-china trade tensions, various international hot spots, softening global economy and warning signs in the bond markets are making people nervous. when people get nervous, they sit on their money. a lot of companies are sitting on their cash, resulting in the first decline in business investment in three years. individual investors are doing the same thing. the business community is calling on leaders in washington to make smart policy choices that will restore certainty or confidence, not just undermining. here are the three quick things that could make a positive difference. resolving the trade tensions
with china is critical into keeping our economy on track. we sent a business delegation to beijing prior to the administration's announcement that it would delay the last round of tariffs for a few weeks. it is a tradition that we have been following for a long time. two major business meetings between the chamber and china business leaders and government officials each year, and the conversations were positive. there's much more work, however, as ambassador lighthizer just room, to behe other done and the chamber continues to work with chinese leaders and american business leaders to move in the right direction. the second thing, we have an
opportunity to finally do something about infrastructure. a bipartisan group of senators came up with half of an infrastructure bill. what i mean by half, it will give you roads, bridges, and and -- and some light rail and get going on it right now, but it's going to require some quick movement before the end of the year. let me say that the committee that took this up unanimously, all democrats and republicans voted for it, and i'm very hopeful we can sneak this under the finish line. then, let me get to the immediate issue, and that is congress should and will, in my opinion, pass the mexico-canada agreement this fall before the end of the year and eliminate
any questions about the future of trade with our two largest export markets and our largest trading partners, canada and mexico. as i mentioned just a few minutes ago, bob lighthizer spoke to our group of chamber executives from around the country, and he and i are singing the same song. he sang it in a much better way than i did. we have been working closely with him and the administration to advance this shared priority for a long time. the chamber's a founding member of the usmca coalition of more than 450 businesses, associations, local chambers, friends, and fellows. leading up to the august recess, we led a pro-usmca hill sign-in letter that included more than 600 business, agriculture
associations, and chambers of commerce representing all 50 states and 30 industries. during the recess, we followed lawmakers home, following more -- home, holding more than 90 in-district events with members of congress. and since the beginning of the year, we have held 740 meetings with members of congress or staff. by the way, lots and lots of those back home. a lot is at stake. you'll hear more from that from others up here. there's still no coasting to the finish line. working together with the chamber federation, and getting to the point where we get adequate numbers of democrats who are making the right noises and the right commitments to make this go is very, very important to us. one of our great supporters is governor doug ducey from arizona.
he's here with us today. we're going to keep the pressure on together until this job gets done. he's closest to the action. right next to mexico. governor, you're up. governor ducey: thanks to tom and everyone at the u.s. chamber for hosting the important discussion around the usmca, the united states-canada-mexico agreement. it was a privilege to be here this morning to have the opportunity to speak to representatives of 100 business chambers in the country just a few moments ago. to say it frankly, america and arizona's businesses are beyond ready to ratify the usmca. trade with mexico and canada is vital to arizona's economy and it supports more than 228,000 jobs. mexico has just passed china to become america's number one trading partner. mexico is arizona's largest trading partner and it's not
even close. it's times four of any other affiliation. canada is our number three trading partner. i know that trade is -- with these two countries is critical. -- critical to other states as well. there are 44 other states that enjoy either number one or two trading relationship with mexico and canada. with the usmca, our country has a once in a generation opportunity to take our north american trade relationships to an entirely new level. in recent months, mexico's ambassador to the united states, martha, spoke loudly and clearly at a panel in arizona where she said, if you care about mexico, you will be yes on the usmca. i couldn't agree more with the ambassador. if we care about mexico and canada, if we care about united states jobs and economic opportunity for our citizens, we will ratify the usmca.
i'm grateful that in arizona, both of our united states senators, senator sinema and senator mcsally are yes and four of our nine members of congress currently support the trade deal, but we need everyone else to get onboard. in arizona, we launched a new website where people can visit and make their voices heard, usmcanow.com -- let me correct it, usmcanow.org. it has trade facts and resources for every state in the country. i also want to encourage everyone across the country to reach out to their members of congress and urge them. in fact, feel free to demand from them that they publicly support the ratification of usmca. now is the time, and with everyone's help i know we can get this done. now, i'd like to hand it over to someone who understands the importance of international trade to arizona perhaps better
than anyone else you will meet. glen hammer is the c.e.o. and president of the arizona chamber of commerce. take it away, glen. mr. hammer: thank you, governor ducey, tom donahue. they articulated the main reasons we need to move usmca over the finish line right now. from the perspective of the business community in arizona it's hard for me to think of an , issue that has done a -- that has brought the business community together in more of a -- more united fashion. for all sections of arizona economy, whether it's tourism, mining, manufacturing, technology, we have an emerging high-tech sector in autos that is highly dependent on the supply chains with sonora. in fact, governor ducey held a press conference with his
counterpart, the governor of sonora, in arizona to announce a major manufacturing electric vehicle plant, louisent motors, and one of the major reasons is because of the auto supply chain in sonora. through the governor's leadership and the arizona-mexico commission, we participated in a study. as the governor mentioned, 228,000 jobs rely on trade with mexico and canada. i would say if you look at some of the independent studies, if we're able to get usmca over the line, which is a modernization of the existing agreement and has brand new chapters in digital goods, in ecommerce, in small and medium enterprises, in intellectual property, that 230,000 jobs will zoom past 250,000 and i believe will hit 300,000 jobs in the not too distant time. one of the interesting things throughout this whole experience, just as the business community in arizona is united,
behind ratification of usmca now, and the governor also mentioned something that's very important in terms of the importance of mexico and canada. 85% of mexico's exports go to the united states. this is not a nice to have for mexico. this is a must have. in fact, their senate, which is the only body that's required in mexico to pass the agreement, several months ago passed the agreement 114-4. 114-4. and the way the usmca was negotiated by ambassador lighthizer, it deserves the same strong bipartisan majority in both houses of congress. my final point is this support that you see in arizona among the business community, thanks to the leadership of tom donahue and the u.s. chamber, it's across the country. the letter that mr. donahue alluded to, over 600 businesses, including many in arizona, like the arizona chamber and the greater phoenix chamber, but
representatives of businesses from all over the country, including from all 50 states, and whether it's -- you're on the border of arizona, like we are in arizona, or you're on the border of canada, like my colleague is from new york -- by the way, my birth state -- usmca is incredibly important to your economy. and with that i'd like to hand the mic over to my friend, colleague, heather of the leading new york business organization. heather: thank you, glenn. thank you, tom donahue and governor ducey, for including me in this very, very important, on this issue. new york state is unbeknownst to many a very large agricultural state, one of the largest in the country, and we do have quite a bit of manufacturing. currently, in our trade relationships with mexico and canada, we export over $18 billion worth of goods.
15.5 billion of that is with canada. canada is our most important trading partner. this agreement, if it is ratified, and i certainly hope it will be shortly, will improve our trading relationship with canada and actually result in updating and huge improvements, particularly with agricultural trade for new york's farmers. we believe this is critically important. this relationship provides and supports over 100,000 in new york state. we think that number will grow once usmca is ratified. so we have urged our congressional delegation, along with many other businesses across the state to show their support for usmca so it can actually take effect. thank you. mr. donohue: thank you, all, for your remarks this morning. we'll open up the floor to questions. i would just ask that you
identify yourself and your news organization. reporter: hi. mara, international trade today. this will be for governor ducey, doug ducey, or glenn hamer or both. you noted that five of your delegation in the house have not yet publicly supported usmca. when you talk to these congresspeople, what do they say are the barriers to getting them on board? and did you hear anything from ambassador lighthizer about progress to meet those issues? governor ducey: first, i want to say i'm grateful for the folks that have gotten on board. like i said, senator sinema, senator mcsally, and the discussions i had with other congresspeople that have not come out yet publicly in the affirmative is that they need to do more homework. they need to have more questions answered. i think once they understand
this is not only critical to the united states' economy, how much arizona's economy depends upon it and then the final question -- final closing message from the ambassador that if you care about mexico, you will be yes on usmca, it should be enough to get nine out of nine of our congressional delegation. >> when the original nafta passed, we had a bipartisan delegation. every member voted for it. every member of the arizona delegation should vote for this agreement. mr. hamer: the arizona chamber and greater phoenix chamber will be on the hill in the next few days making a push with some of the members who have not yet come out in favor. governor ducey said -- he correctly quotes ambassador barsina, if you care about the economy of mexico, you'll vote for the usmca. i'll take it another step.
if you care about the economy of arizona and the united states of america, you will vote for usa. it's really that cut and dry. governor ducey: i'd like to applaud congressman stanton from congressional district nine in arizona. he sits in the opposite party. he was the former mayor of phoenix. phoenix just happens to be the fastest growing city in the nation right now. then-mayor stanton and i did a trade mission to mexico together. we called 100,000-plus arizonans and held the discussion about the importance of the usmca to the state of arizona and to the u.s. economy. i'm grateful to greg stanton for that. >> next question over here. reporter: good morning. david lynch with "the washington post." this is for tom or neil. did you get any clarity from ambassador lighthizer over -- on how the democrats' concerns over labor or enforcement issues might be resolved?
and can you be at all any more specific on when you think the house, in particular, might take up the agreement? thanks. mr. donohue: ambassador lighthizer had the same question. i am not going to quote him. as i talk to him about it all the time, i'll give it how it looks to me. right now we have enough votes with democrats and republicans that we could pass the bill. but to make it passage that will stand for a long period of time without challenge and to make it comfortable for those that are courageous enough in the democratic party to already state to us and some of them very publicly their support, it's necessary to get another group of votes from the party.
they're there. right now, there is discussions between the ambassador and nancy pelosi and other leaders of the democratic party. lighthizer said from the beginning this deal won't work without democratic support. there are two or three little issues. we're not opening up the bill, but every bill -- every agreement always has a few adjustments. there are adjustments the chamber absolutely supports. i have spoken to the speaker about this. i believe it will get done on a timely basis. what's timely? everyone would like it to be sent up at the end of this month and done in the next few weeks after that. i can't promise that because of so many other things going on. but i believe long before we start looking at the holidays
, we'll have this thing done. and that's not based on just some thought i came up with in the middle of the night. that's what intelligent discussion with a lot of people makes you hope as our objective. but as you know better than anybody else in what you do, objectives sometimes slide a little, but we'll get it done. do you want to add something to that? ok. reporter: james with the financial times. this is a question for mr. donahue or mr. bradley of the chamber. since this is quite a tough vote for many democrats -- and i know you're targeting centrist, moderate democrats -- are you pledging to support them with an endorsement at the next congressional election next year or is that endorsement still going to be a question mark for many of these members? and i also have a quick kind of macroquestion.
how concerned are you about the spike in oil prices over weekend and instability in the middle east? mr. donohue: well, first of all, those are two good questions. i want to say something quickly about each and then neil may. it won't -- votes by members of the democratic party, for endorsements in the next election will certainly be in our mind. but i will tell you this -- anybody in democratic party that is attacked in an election time because of a vote for this agreement, i will personally in a number of ways make it clear to their potential voters exactly how important it was for the country of their vote.
i made this clear to a lot of people. i don't think there are a lot of folks in the other party that are going to criticize them for voting for something they want. anything else on that? mr. bradley: two things i'd say. we made it clear to republicans and democrats on capitol hill that it's really impossible to see how you can claim to be probusiness and pro-economic growth if at the end of the day you are not pro-usmca. there are obviously other issues members have to grapple with but you can't reconcile being progrowth and pro-business if you are against usmca. we are paying close attention to people like representative stanton who are coming out early. he and 13 of his colleagues sent a letter to the speaker at the end of july before the august recess urging action this fall on usmca. being an early supporter and
helping build momentum for this is worth a lot more to the u.s. chamber in the business community than being the 270th vote after it's already passed. mr. bradley: thanks, neil. on the question of oil prices, obviously the tragic circumstances in saudi arabia over the last number of days have given people pause and question about what's going to happen to oil prices. it -- and a lot of things have happened since then. of course, if saudi loses the ability to provide half of the finished product that it had been providing before this attack, it's going to move up oil prices, and we've seen that a little bit today. however, you know, the
president, president trump has indicated the willingness to deal with our national oil reserves to balance some of that. others, i'm sure, will move together and the opec folks to produce more as necessary. i think in the next few days we'll have a much better feeling about how long it will take for the saudis to get up, get their system up and going again, and i think that it is going to have others being very careful and more alert to protecting their resources. i think we'll be all right. the united states is the largest producer now, collectively with canada and mexico, we're very,
very significant. we can be helpful in this beyond what others are used to. reporter: ben, bloomberg news. you talked about getting a new group of democrats on. i was wondering if you've identified kind of what defines that group, how much progress you made over the recess in getting them on board and who that group would be. mr. donohue: i am not going to single any member of congress out who doesn't want to be -- mr. bradley: to single themselves out. i will tell you we are having productive conversations with democratic members who have been forced support and are agitating to get this vote done but also with members who have not come out publicly. , they areernment said looking for information and finality.
the one thing i will say is that there is an appreciation amongst members of both parties of the importance of this relationship and that in a town in which a lot of things can get caught up in politics, this is one of those things that we can't afford to allow to get caught up in politics. that is reassuring as we work to build momentum to a final passage. >> i have a hunch you were as interested in what we had to save months ago when we were and creatmake circumstances where members of the democratic party while they may not have become the greatest supporters of things advocating that would help get things to be considered help stop things that make no sense, we have been having extraordinary meetings with the new democrats and long
serving democrats. i suspect he will find a balance approach. said, you would have a much better story if we told you about all of the people you could call up but i think our credibility on this is pretty good. there are simply saying we're having a lot of meetings with the right people and feel very good about. -- about it. >> i want to go back to a prior question because we were not sure what the questions. -- question was. what are the specific concerns or objections. and to, i wondered if ambassador lighthizer got questions about the mid-level talks that were supposed to take place this month.
specifically, where are the talks going to start? are they starting in may were shrinking the area they will cover? >> i will take the arizona delegation question. direct you tod the members of congress who have not come out publicly so they can speak for themselves. conversations i have had with them have been around wanting to do more homework or understanding the details. wanting to understand how it affects labor in mexico. those types of comments and concerns that i think can easily be answered with a little due diligence and time spent with the bill or ambassador lighthizer or myself >> -- myself. what more generalities, and again, the bill has not been presented on the floor. before, we have
had lots of conversations with you, democrats, to help the big questions are the two or three things that ambassador lighthizer are discussing with the speaker. assurehat is how can you that the agreement would be enforceable? i think there is a general confidence that we are moving in the right direction. i soon as that gets done, think we will begin to see some more public voices. what the ambassador has said about the china discussions was fax the, i will give you a and then a little color -- fact and then a little color.
he said that his staff and the chinese staff would meet next friday. in the ensuing weeks or weaken the half, that the senior negotiators would come together for he laid it out by saying that this is an extraordinary what all fellthat apart some of months ago, they were very, very close to a workable agreement. that does not take care of the protection of intellectual property.
that there is some movement in the direction of agricultural .roducts and other issues optimistic, i'm also a realist and this is not a simple problem. >> hello. , is thisagain something that concerns the chamber in terms of reaching a real resolution to these underlying issues on intellectual property and what can you say about sort of a more intermediate sort of deal in the
that prohibits the enforcement of clauses in contracts that require employment and antitrust .ivil rights disputes at 10 a.m. eastern, a hearing on the mental health needs of migrant children in little health custody. after that, the house gun violence prevention task force called a discussion on capitol hill with gun-control advocates to highlight the impact of gun violence on children. that is followed by a news conference with members discussing the gun control and second in an rights -- amendment rights. today, the house judiciary committee held a hearing on whether president trump obstructed justice and special counsel robert mueller's investigation. members heard from the