tv Gov. Ducey Chamber of Commerce News Conference on Trade CSPAN September 17, 2019 7:44am-8:20am EDT
>> arizona governor doug ducey was joined by tom donohue and neil bradley for a news conference on trade and the need to ratify the us/mexico/canada trade agreement often referred to as the usmca. this is just over 30 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. twice a year the chamber brings together top state and local chamber executives from around the country to talk about our shared priorities and how we can best leverage the power of our whole federation. it is our partnership with these organizations the give the chamber nationwide reach and businesses all over the country a voice in washington. this meeting is an important time for businesses from arizona to new york and
elsewhere in between. there are growing questions about the strength and direction of our economy. uncertainty stemming from the us/china trade tensions, various international hotspots, softening global economy, warning signs, 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 undermine it. here are three quick things
that can make a positive difference, resolving trade tensions with china is critical to restoring business certainty 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 we have been following for a long time, two major business meetings between the chamber and china and business leaders and government officials each year and the conversations were positive. there is much more work, however, as ambassador lighthizer just told us in the other room, to be 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 the opportunity to finally do something about infrastructure. a bipartisan group of senators came up with half an infrastructure bill. what i mean by half, it will give you roads, bridges and light rail and get going on it right now, but it is going to require some quick movement before the end of the year. let me say that the committee and took this up unanimously, all democrats and republicans voted for it and i'm hopeful we can sneak this under the finish line. let me get to the immediate issue, congress should, and will in my opinion, past 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 largest trading partners, canada and mexico. as i mentioned 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 saying it in a better way than i did. we are working closely with him in the administration, the chambers, a founding member of the us mca coalition of 450 businesses, and friends and fellows, leading up to the august recess we letter pro usmca sign in letter that
included more than 600 businesses, agricultural associations and chambers of commerce representing all 50 states and 30 industries. during the recess we followed lawmakers home holding 90 district events with members of congress and since the beginning of the year we have held 740 meetings with members of congress, their staff and lots and lots of those back home and a lot is at stake, still no finish line. as we get adequate numbers of democrats making the right noises and the right commitments to make this go is very important to us.
one of our great supporters is governor doug doocy who is with us today. we will keep the pressure on together until this job gets done. he is closest to the action right next to mexico. governor, you are up. >> i want to say thanks to tom donahue and everyone at the chamber for posting the informed discussion around the usmca, the united states mexico canada agreement, good to speak to representatives of 100 business chambers in the country 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 the arizona economy, it supports 128,000 jobs. mexico has just passed china to become america's number one
trading partner and mexico is arizona's largest trading partner and it is not even close, it is times for of any other affiliation and canada is our number 3 trading partner and i know trade with these two countries is critical to other states, there are 44 other american states that are number one or 2 trading relationship with mexico and canada. with 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 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. 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 senators, senator kirsten cinema and senator martha mcnally are years in four of our members of congress support the trade deal but we need everyone else to get on board. in arizona we launched a new website where people can visit and make their voices heard. doug ducey -- usmcanow.com, usmcanow.org. they have resources for every state and i want to encourage everyone across the country to reach out to members of congress and urge them, feel free to demand from them that they publicly support the ratification of usmca. now is the time with everyone's help to get this done. i would like to hand it to
someone who understands the important of international trade, better than anyone else you will meet, glenn hammers of the chamber of commerce. >> tom donohue and doug ducey highlighted why we have to use the usmca over the finish line right now. from the perspective of the business community it is hard to think of an issue that has brought the business community together in a more united fashion. for every sector of arizona's academy whether it is tourism, mining, manufacturing, technology, we have an emerging high-tech sector in autos that is dependent on the supply chain. doug ducey held a press conference with his counterpart
in arizona to announce a major manufacturing electric vehicle plant and one of the major reasons was the auto supply chain in sonora. through doug ducey and leadership in the arizona mexico solution we participated in the study and as the governor mentioned, 228,000 jobs rely on trade with mexico and canada and i would say a few look at the independent studies, if we get usmca over the line which is a modernization of the, and digital goods. small and medium enterprises and intellectual property. 230,000 jobs will zoom past 250,000 and i believe hit 300,000 jobs in not too much distant time. one of the interesting things,
as the business community in arizona is united behind ratification of usmca now, the governor mentioned something 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 her mexico, this is a must-have. there senate, which is the only body required in mexico to pass the agreement, several months ago past the agreement 114-four. the way usmca was negotiated by ambassador lighthizer it deserves the same strong bipartisan majority in both houses of congress. my final point is the support you see in arizona among the business community, thanks to the leadership of tom donohue in the us chambers across the country. the letter tom donohue alluded to, 600 businesses including many in arizona like the arizona chamber and greater
phoenix chamber, representatives of businesses from all of the country including all 50 states, and whether you are on the border of arizona like we are in arizona or you are on the border of canada like my colleague from new york and my first state, usmca is important to your economy and with that, i would like to hand the mic over to my friend and colleague, heather, of the leading new york business organization. >> thank you and thank you, tom donohue and doug ducey for including me in this very important issue. new york state is, unbeknownst to many a large agricultural state, one of the largest in the country and we have quite a bit of manufacturing. currently in our trade relationships with mexico and
canada we export $18 billion, $14 billion of that. this agreement is ratified and i hope it will be shortly. it will improve the trading relationship and updating huge improvements particularly with agricultural trade for new york farmers. we believe this is incredibly important. this relationship provides and supports 100,000 jobs in new york state, we think that number will grow once usmca is ratified. we have urged our congressional delegation along with a number of other businesses many other businesses across the state to show their support for usmca so it can take effect. >> thank you all for your remarks.
i will just ask you identify yourself and your news organization. >> this will be for doug ducey or glenn hammer or both. you noted five of your delegation in the house have not publicly supported usmca. when you talk to these congresspeople what do they say are the barriers to cutting them on board and do you hear anything from ambassador lighthizer about progress to meet those issues? >> i want to say i am grateful for the folks who have gotten on board. senator cinema, senator mc sally, and the discussions i have had with other congresspeople that have not come out publicly in the affirmative is they need to do more homework, have more questions answered.
once they understand this is not just critical to the united states academy, how much arizona's economy depends on it, the final closing message from ambassador bar sina that if you care about mexico you -- it should be enough to get 9 out of 9 of our congressional delegation. >> when the original nafta past, a bipartisan delegation, every member voted for it. every member of the arizona delegation should vote for this agreement. the arizona chamber in greater phoenix chamber will be on the hill in a few days making another push where members have not come out in favor but doug ducey correctly quotes the ambassador that if you care about the economy of mexico you
will vote for usmca. i will take another step. if you care about the economy of arizona and the united states of america you will vote for usmca. it is that cut and dried. >> i would like to applaud congressman stanton from the congressional district 9. .. and i'm grateful to greg stanton for that. >> good morning. david lynch with the "washington post." this is for tom or neil. did you get any clarity from ambassador lighthizer on how the democrats concerned over labor or enforcement issues might be resolved?
and can you be at all anymore specific on when you think the house in particular might take up the agreement? thanks. >> if you were inside, ambassador lighthizer sort of had the same questions. so i'm not going to quote him, because i talk to him about all the time. i'll give you this, it's 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 a 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 are there. right now there is discussions between the ambassador and nancy pelosi and other leaders of the democratic party. lighthizer has said from the beginning this deal will not work without democratic support. there are two or three little issues. we are not opening up the bill, but every bill, every agreement always has a few adjustments. there are adjustments at the chamber absolutely supports. i've spoken at length to the speaker on this. i believe this will get done inn a timely basis. what's timely? everybody would like it to be set up at the end of this month and done in the next few weeks after that. i can't promise that because there's so many other things going on, but i believe long before we start looking at the
holidays, we will 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, objective sometimes slide a little but we will get it done. you want to add something to that? okay. >> james with the financial times. since this is the question for mr. donohue and 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 of the next congressional election next year, or is that endorsement still going to be a question mark for many of these members? and also have a quick kind of macro question.
how concerned are you about the spike in oil prices over the weekend and instability in the middle east? >> well, first of all, those are two good questions and in what you say something quickly about each and then neil may. it won't -- votes by members of the democratic party for, or endorsement in the next election, it will certainly be in our mind. but but i will tell you this. anybody in the 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 on their vote.
and i made this clear to a lot of people. i don't think there are a lot of folks any of the party that are going to criticize them for voting for something they want. anything else on that? >> two thinks i would say. we made very clear to republicans and democrats on capitol hill that it's really impossible to see how you can claim to be pro-business and pro-economic growth at the end d of the day, you are not pro-usmca. there's a lot of other issues members have to grapple with but you really can't reconcile being pro-growth and pro-business if you're against the usmca. the other thing i would add is, we are also paying close attention to folks 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 use cheaper and to the business community than being the 270th vote after it's already passed. >> 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 oil prices. 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 have seen that a little bit today. however, you know, the
president, president trump is indicated their willingness to deal with our national oil reserves, to balance some of that. others i'm sure will move together, the opec folks, to produce more as necessary. and i think in the next few days we will have a much better feeling about how long it will take for the saudi to get up, get the system up and going again. and i think that it is going to have others being very careful and more artwork to protecting their resources. i think we will be all right. the united states is the largest producer now, collectively with canada and mexico. we are very, very significant, and we can be helpful in this be
on what others are used to. >> ben brody, bloomberg news. you talked about getting a new group of democrats on. i was wondering if you have identified kind of what defined that group, how much progress you made over the recess in getting them on board, and who that group would be? >> well, i'm not going to single any in member of congress out who doesn't want to be, to single themselves out. i will tell you we're having quite productive conversations both with democratic members who already have come out and voiced their support and are agitating to get this vote down and wrapped up, but also with members who haven't come out publicly. the governor said they are looking for more information, looking for for natalie between the negotiations, between the speaker and abbasid lighthizer. the one thing i will say is i think 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 get caught up in politics and that is a least reassuring as we work to build momentum to find a final passage vote. >> i have a hunch you were more interested, as interested, in what we had to say months ago when we're trying to make, create circumstances where members of the democratic party, while they may not become the greatest supporters of things that we are advocating, that would help get things to be considered, help stop things that made no sense. we've been having extraordinary meetings with the new democrats and with long serving democrats. they've been helpful.
i suspect you will find a balanced approach as a result of that. and i feel very good about it. as neil said, you would have been much better story ever told you but all the people you could call up. but i think our credibility on this is pretty good. i would just simply say were having a lot of meetings with the right people and i feel very good about it. thank you. >> alan ferguson, cq roll call. i want to go back to a prior question because it wasn't really sure if i was with the answer was. the question was, the five members of the arizona house delegation who have not, publicly for usmca, what are their specific concert or objections? and i also wondered if ambassador lighthizer got questions about the mid-level talk that were supposed to take place this month with chinese negotiators, and specifically where are the talks going to
start? are they going to start when you were in may or are they shrinking the areas that they are going to cover? >> so i'll take the arizona delegation question -- >> and i'll take the other one. >> i guess i would direct you to the members of congress that have not, publicly so that they can speak for themselves, but conversations i've had with them have been around, what to do more homework, want to understand the details, want 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. but more generalities, and take in the bill hasn't been presented on the floor as well. >> you know, as neil indicated
before, we had lots of conversations with other democrats, and i think with your help, to help you, i think the big questions are the two or three things that ambassador lighthizer are discussing with the speaker, and among that is how can you assure that the agreement would be enforceable? and i think there is a general comfort that we are moving very much in the right direction. and the soonest that gets done, i think we will begin to see some more public voices. what the ambassador said about the china discussions was that, i'll give you a fact and then i'll give you a little color. he said that his staff and the
chinese staff would meet, i believe, the next time would be this friday, and that in the ensuing week or week and a half that the senior negotiators would come together. he laid it out by saying that this is an extraordinary challenge, and that when it all fell apart some months ago, they were very, very close to a workable agreement. and an agreement that doesn't take care of the protection of intellectual property and doesn't pay attention to the questions of equal opportunity to participate in similar industries, and a whole host of other things that you are all very well informed about, then it will be hard to get a full
agreement. he did indicate that there is some movement in the direction of purchasing of agricultural products and other issues. i thought it was an extraordinary exchange, and while i'm optimistic about it, i'm also a dead ass realist and this is not a simple problem. >> great. we have time for one more question. >> yes, hello. on china again, there's been i guess talk about possibly an interim or pull a type deal coming together sort of as a confidence builder. is that something that concerns the chamber in terms of reaching real resolution to these underlying issues on intellectual property? and what can you say about, did the ambassador said anything about sort of a more intermediate sort of deal in the next couple weeks?
>> i would say that he did not. he was pretty clear that, you know, we have to do this one step at a time, but that this has to be a real agreement. i would say in all the negotiations i've ever participated in, the best opportunity comes when both sides have deep, serious, real needs. and i think a casual look at the realities in china and here suggests, for political reasons, or economic reasons, avoidance of serious economic problems in the future, it's in the best interest of both countries to make a real agreement. and we are very hopeful that we will have the opportunity to move in that direction. >> great. thank you all. thank you to our special guests,
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