January 9th, 2020




WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement announcing support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ahead of votes in Senate committees on the deal next week:

“Canada and Mexico are two of Virginia’s largest trading partners, and maintaining a strong trade relationship with them is critical for businesses and farmers across the Commonwealth,” said Kaine. “My test for whether I’d support USMCA has always been whether the deal includes strong protections for workers and the environment. After changes negotiated by Democrats with the Administration, I feel confident this bill meets that threshold, and I’ll support its passage through Congress.”

“The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is vital to ensuring Virginia businesses and farmers have duty-free access to nearly all sectors of the North American market,” said Virginia Chamber President & CEO Barry DuVal. “With more than 300,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth supported by international trade, we appreciate Senator Kaine’s support for this landmark trade agreement and his leadership toward strengthening Virginia’s position in the global economy.”

“Fair trade is important to workers, including members of USW Local 8888. The new USMCA, which includes important labor provisions fought for by the labor community and our Democratic allies, is better than current law. There is still work to do, but passing USMCA is an important step in fixing America’s broken trade system,” said Charles Spivey, President of United Steelworkers Local 8888.

“Virginia Poultry Federation is grateful for Senator Kaine’s support of this agreement, which preserves access to our largest international market for U.S. poultry exports, Mexico, and creates opportunities for expanding poultry trade with Canada. This is a big deal for Virginia’s largest agricultural sector, and we appreciate Senator Kaine’s leadership,” said Hobey Bauhan, President of Virginia Poultry Federation. 

“Farm Credit of the Virginias supports the USMCA. For our farmers in Virginia, USMCA will provide new market access for dairy and poultry products in Canada. Importantly, it maintains the zero-tariff platform on all other ag products to Canada and on all ag products to Mexico. It provides a true economic benefit to America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Peery Heldreth, CEO, Farm Credit of the Virginias.

 “This is good news for trade, specifically for grain farmers, pork and poultry producers and lumber exporters,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We expect to see our export volumes begin to rebound, so this is a positive development for The Port of Virginia’s customers, cargo owners, port users and ultimately, the American economy. Trade thrives in a predictable, stable and open environment.”

“The USMCA is good for both the US Beef Industry, as well as, for Virginia cattle producers. The number of cattle being sold into Canada from Virginia is growing each year, and having a strong trade agreement in place is vital to the industry,” said Tracy Fitzsimmons, Executive Director of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association.

“Virginia Farm Bureau strongly supports passage of USMCA. The new trade agreement would build on the success of NAFTA while modernizing and updating that agreement with important provisions that support U.S. agriculture, and drive American innovation and competitiveness. At a time when American farmers are facing low commodity prices, natural disasters, and overseas trade wars, the USMCA provides trade certainty to farmers and allows Virginia farmers to compete in an increasingly crowded global economy,” said Wayne Pryor, President of the Virginia Farm Bureau.

“Volvo Trucks in Southwest Virginia strongly supports the amended USMCA agreement. The upcoming passage of the USMCA will be a huge victory for Volvo Group and Virginians who build Volvo trucks every day in Dublin. The Volvo Group is the only major heavy duty truck manufacturer that builds all of our trucks for the North American market here in the U.S., and being able to continue exporting these trucks duty-free will be a huge boon long term for Virginia and our workforce in the New River Valley area,” said Franky Marchand, Vice President & General Manager of the Volvo Trucks New River Valley plant.

“UPS thanks Senator Kaine for his support of the USMCA agreement which will benefit all Americans through economic growth and job creation, including the more than 8,300 UPS employees in our 176 facilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including UPS Freight headquarters in Richmond, Virginia,” said Laura Lane, President of UPS Global Public Affairs. “The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement better reflects today’s digital economy and will take time, cost and complexity out of trade, accelerate the release of goods through customs and support the participation of more small businesses in regional and global supply chains.”

“Passing this agreement would be a big win for the United States and all of North America. We are encouraged to see a bipartisan agreement on USMCA,” said Michel Zajur, President & CEO of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  

“As the 19th largest U.S. exporter by volume, Eastman is a strong supporter of USMCA. We applaud the Administration and Congressional leaders like Senator Kaine for their leadership on this agreement, which will preserve and promote free trade that supports jobs like those at Eastman. An updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico provides a bipartisan opportunity to strengthen American competitiveness, and we urge swift passage,” said Mark Costa, Board Chair and CEO of Eastman.