STATEHOUSE, BOSTON, AUGUST 13, 2019 (STATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE) – Shortly after Vice President Mike Pence touched down on Nantucket last weekend, he and Gov. Charlie Baker had a conversation about the trade deal the Trump administration negotiated with Mexico and Canada.
The governor greeted Pence on Saturday morning at Nantucket Memorial Airport when the vice president and former governor of Indiana arrived to attend a fundraiser. Baker’s office said the two talked about the stalled Vineyard Wind project and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement(USMCA).
Thank you @CharlieBakerMA for welcoming us to Nantucket today, @SecondLady and I are excited to visit your great state! I look forward to continuing to work together for all of the hard working Americans in MA and around the country! pic.twitter.com/q0Tf9eHuRH
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) August 10, 2019
Since the spring, Baker has been calling on Congress to ratify the new deal intended to replace NAFTA, calling it a “strong, fair agreement” that would bolster the relationship between Massachusetts and its largest trading partner Canada.
Massachusetts and Canada did $10.3 billion in bilateral trade in 2018, including the exportation of industrial machinery, aircraft engines and medical equipment that supports over 200 Canadian-owned companies in Massachusetts and 20,000 direct jobs, Baker reminded Congressional leaders in a May letter.
“Completion of this fair, flexible trade agreement with our closest trading partners is vital, not only because free trade and strong relationships with neighboring allies are critical for peace and state economic prosperity, but it is critically important for our economy and Massachusetts jobs,” Baker wrote.
The USMCA was signed by President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Nov. 30, 2018, but it must still be ratified by the Legislature of each country.
Baker this year said governors were likely to “spend a fair amount of time over the course of the next few months trying to nudge that process forward.” Baker said it’s important to have the agreement ratified before Canada’s election this fall.