Rep. Mary Dye witnesses Trump signing of new trade agreement at the White House

Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, was among the invited guests at the White House South Lawn who watched President Donald Trump Wednesday as he signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law.

The new trade agreement, which was approved by Congress, replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was established in 1994.

Dye, a dryland wheat farmer who represents the largely agricultural 9th Legislative District, is a strong supporter of the new trade agreement. In a letter she wrote to the president and congressional leaders last April, which was signed by Washington state legislators from both parties in the House and Senate, Dye noted, “Continued, uninterrupted trade with Canada and Mexico is vital to Washington state's economy and to the jobs that support thousands of our citizens and their families. That is why we believe the USMCA is one of the most important agreements for the economic viability of Washington state.”

Local farmers and county leaders across Eastern Washington put their support of the USMCA in a similar letter Dye sent to the president and Congress.

Last week, Dye received an invitation from the White House to be at the ceremony as President Trump signed the USMCA. She flew to Washington, D.C, Tuesday and attended the bill signing Wednesday morning.

“It was an honor to be chosen to join those to witness this historic event and see the president and vice president in person. I was humbled to be included in the celebration,” said Dye.

“The president talked about the benefits to cattle producers. He said the USMCA will increase egg and wheat exports and provide big improvements for the dairy industry,” noted Dye.

After the signing, Dye used the opportunity to provide the president, his staff and Vice President Mike Pence with a prerecorded video, in which Dye asks for the president's support to complete the remaining portion of the Columbia Basin Project. The 9th District lawmaker previously traveled several times to Washington, D.C. to make the case to Trump administration officials about the urgent need to finish the east half of the project, abandoned in the 1960s, which has since relied on deep wells across the Odessa sub-aquifer that are now drying up.

“If we can complete this project and bring water to the other 429,000 of the original 1.1 million acres of the Columbia Basin Project, just think of the immense agricultural opportunities in Eastern Washington's future now that the USMCA is law,” said Dye.

“I appreciate all who signed the letters, including the farmers and growers of the Columbia Basin who have shown their stalwart support for the USMCA,” Dye added. “It is a great day for farmers and producers across the country.”

The USMCA still must be ratified by Canada in order to be implemented. It has already been approved by the Mexican parliament.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks at ceremony before signing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Photo taken by Rep. Mary Dye as she watched from the White House South Lawn.


Washington State House Republican Communications