If President Donald Trump is going to repeat his 2016 victory, he is going to have to win states like Pennsylvania again in 2020.
Knowing this, the president sent Vice President Mike Pence away to Pennsylvania this week to tout a new North American trade deal the administration is trying to push through Congress and explain how it will benefit Pennsylvanians — and there are more ways than one.
Drumming Up Support
PennLive reports that Pence has been touring the country to talk up a new trade deal that Trump negotiated between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. While Mexico has ratified the deal, we are still waiting for both our Congress and Canada to put their stamp of approval on the agreement.
If and when it is finally signed, the deal will serve as the replacement for the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which Trump has deemed a total failure.
In states like Pennsylvania, this deal will make a huge difference. For one, Pennsylvania is a major hub for both air and rail transportation, and the commonwealth has a substantial take of the international maritime shipping industry.
Pennsylvania is also a major manufacturing state — so the more goods that can be exported, the better.
“It’s a good deal for America,” Pence said of the agreement. “It’s a good deal for Pennsylvania, and we’ve got to get it done this year.”
Pence went on to mention other Trump policies that have benefitted Pennsylvanians, including his fight against “the war on coal.”
Sending A Message
Pence’s message has to get through to Pennsylvanians, because while Trump did win the state in 2016, he did it with a less than 1% margin. Moreover, Republicans have not fared well in the state since the 2016 election, so there is obviously some concern for Trump in being able to carry the state in 2020.
This will be especially true if Joe Biden ends up being the Democrats’ nominee, as the former VP has ties to the area and even opened up a campaign office in Philadelphia to help bolster support.
Some pundits believe the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal may be held up by Democrats in Washington for that very reason. The deal will open up the borders in terms of importing parts from both Canada and Mexico, which means lower costs and more production from U.S. manufacturers.
That would be a clear victory for Trump and U.S. workers — something the Democrats may not be willing to give up as they look to the White House ahead of 2020.