Prior to giving a speech in Hampton Roads later in the day, Vice President Pence arrived early to Patriot Industries who hosted the USMCA panel in Louisa County, Virginia, as the keynote speaker in a panel discussion regarding the hundreds of companies that export their products to both Canada and Mexico.
Twenty-three percent of Virginia’s exports go to Canada and Mexico which is why the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement impacts Virginia manufactures, farmers, workers, and even small businesses who are experiencing growth and are now shipping their products abroad. The USMCA would serve as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement in order to focus more heavily on US workers and promote American-based businesses that trade internationally. Vice President Pence proposed that up to 176,000 new jobs could be created if NAFTA is replaced with the USMCA. The House of Representatives has yet to vote on the change.
Louisa and Goochland County are neighbors who share in a growing and dynamic field of skilled trades and increased business development as well as infrastructure.
The event was attended by a large crowd who have vested interests in seeing local rural areas thrive as their business demands increase. Fair trade is also a concern for agricultural landowners who depend on their products for livelihood. Equipment that could be made and purchased in the United States is often outsourced, currently, reducing the number of jobs throughout the country.
Businesses like Patriot Industries began as a small, independent, company which has now grown exponentially into multiple manufacturing aluminum and stainless steel plants while simultaneously employing workers who have local access to well-paying jobs. A higher standard trade agreement would afford such growth to continue in companies such as Patriot Industries while benefiting ranchers, large industries, small businesses, and local farmers alike.
John McGuire, who is running for for re-election as Delegate in the 65th District, was in attendance both as a candidate and a business owner. Also in attendance were former Virginia Governor, George Allen, 5th District Congressman Denver Riggleman who is a business owner, as well as 1st District Congressman Rob Wittman.
On hand were plenty of Secret Service agents who diligently worked to offer security for the event.
Vice President Pence also made a stop at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia after the event.