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Brindisi Meets With Vice President Over New Trade Deal, Pushes Colleagues for Swift Passage


Utica-area congressmember Anthony Brindisi brought Upstate priorities to the White House on Friday, where he and a handful of other key lawmakers had the ear of Vice President Mike Pence.  Brindisi says they’re very close to a vote in the house on the US Mexico/Canada Trade agreement, or USMCA. 

He says there are legitimate concerns about enforcement of this trade deal after what happened 25 years ago. 

"Under NAFTA, we lost a lot of jobs in Upstate New York because companies were able to close their doors and move across the border to Mexico, and pay workers a whole lot less. This new trade deal has stronger protections in it so that kind of behavior will stop."

Brindisi says the USMCA will provide more stability for farmers and manufacturers after the uncertainty created by tariffs and the trade war.  He says it could also open up new markets. 

"This is a trade deal that I think will help be a framework for future trade deals with China, or Japan, or the European Union."

On other issues, Brindisi says there’s also been progress on a bill that aims to crack down on the billions of robocalls invading our phones. 

"At best, they are unwanted, intrusive invasions of our privacy. At worst, they are fraudulent and meant to try and scam people out of money."

Brindisi says the measure gives the FCC and Attorney General more authority.

"[The measure will be] extending the statute of limitations for law enforcement agencies to prosecute illegal robocallers, [and] directing the FCC to submit evidence of criminal robocall violations to the Attorney General for criminal prosecution."

He says the TRACED act also requires phone companies to implement technology that keeps robocallers from spoofing numbers…so the number appears to  be local when it is not.  Brindisi says the legislation is on its way to the president’s desk.