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Pence touts trade agreement in St. Paul

May 09, 2019 10:12 PM

Vice President Mike Pence touted the Gerdau Ameristeel steel mill in St. Paul as "an example of how American steel is back" during a stop there Thursday afternoon.

He went on to tell the crowd assembled that “manufacturing is back in America” thanks to the Trump administration's policies.

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Pence was in the area to promote the administration's new North American trade agreement. He had earlier stopped at a farm in western Minnesota, where he said the administration is working "hour by hour" to reach a trade agreement with China, as the U.S. is poised to raise tariffs on Chinese imports.

But Pence said negotiators have to "stand firm."

U.S. and Chinese negotiators were set to resume trade talks later Thursday in Washington. The United States plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent on Friday.

Pence says if a deal is not reached, the administration will look for ways to provide additional support to farmers. But he was not specific.

Related: Pence to visit Minnesota to plug trade with Mexico, Canada

U.S. Republican Rep. Pete Stauber, whose district includes the Minnesota Iron Range, says the USMCA does not pit farmers against steel workers.

Pence called on Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, to help persuade Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement to a vote.

In St. Paul, Pence told assembled steelworkers that Trump works every day on "trade deals that put American workers first."

He said Congress must pass the new trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico because it would be a huge boost to American workers and “keep this economy going.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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