VP Pence speaks to Indiana farmers about free trade, tariffs

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LEBANON, Ind. (WTHR) - Vice President Mike Pence returned to central Indiana Thursday to talk with Hoosier farmers and other members of the agricultural community.

He landed in Indianapolis around 3 p.m. then headed for Lamb Farms, Inc. in Boone County to discuss the potential impact of the U.S. - Mexico - Canada Agreement, specifically for the business and agricultural communities.

President Donald Trump has touted the agreement as the replacement for NAFTA. Congress has not yet ratified it.

One of the farmers who gathered for the event asked Pence to do what he could to ensure a deal gets done soon for both Mexico and Canada because they don't expect to export as much to China as they once did, even if every embargo gets lifted. "We need all of them together," he said, to ensure the next generation of farmers has a broad enough consumer base to keep operating.

Numerous people who got to speak mentioned wanting to see tariffs reduced or removed on a wide range of agricultural products.

After hearing from all of the Indiana farmers and pork producers who came to speak, Pence addressed them all saying, "The president and I are absolutely determined to see the USMCA completed and ratified by the United States Congress this spring."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week she won't bring up the USMCA for a vote until Mexico has passed and implemented major labor law reforms.

"President Trump has done his job. It's time for the Congress to do its job and ratify the USMCA," Pence said.