U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida)
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) said getting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) right is crucial.
"Reducing international barriers to getting U.S. goods to market helps Florida’s farmers, manufacturers and workers," Crist said in an interview with Florida Business Daily. "A revised NAFTA should bring our partners more in line with America’s labor standards, and we still have work to do on the issue of specialty crops and drug prices."
Crist represents Florida's 13th district, which encompasses Clearwater down to St. Petersburg.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area exported $2.26 billion to Mexico in 2017, according to the Department of Commercial International Trade Administration (ITA), Florida Business Daily reported in May. That is an increase of 20.2 percent from the previous year. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach exported $2.19 billion to Mexico in 2017.
The National Association of Manufacturers noted that one out of seven Florida manufacturing firms export to Mexico and Canada.
"I look forward to continuing a constructive dialogue on the USMCA," Crist said. "It’s very important we get this right."
Vice President Mike Pence recently visited Florida and asked Congress members to pass the USMCA.
"I couldn’t be more grateful to America First Policies for putting this event together because it’s going to equip you to be able to go out and make the case for the USMCA, and we need you to do it," Pence said during that visit. "And not just among your neighbors and friends, but we need you to reach out. Reach out to elected officials all across this great state. Let them know just how important this is. Reach out to people in both political parties. And we will make Florida more prosperous and more secure than ever before. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again."
Last month, the Florida Chamber of Commerce asked Congress to pass the agreement.
"With one in five Florida jobs dependent on trade, the important role that global trade plays in creating jobs, growing opportunities for small businesses and increasing foreign direct investment simply can’t be overstated," wrote David Hart, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, in a guest column for Florida Politics.