Each month I want to provide you with regular updates about what’s going on in our nation’s capital and throughout the 4th District of Kansas. Here’s what has happened in January.
Trade with China, Mexico and Canada
In January, our country experienced two incredible economic wins thanks to the trade policies of the Trump administration. Together, they are a testament to this president’s commitment to free and fair trade, and the American people.
The first win was when President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a phase one trade deal between China and the U.S.
As Kansas’ third-largest trading partner, the deal with China is monumental for farmers, manufacturers and workers in our state and throughout our country. This deal eases tariffs and increases Chinese purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion, including nearly $50 billion in ag products.
While I have said all along tariffs are not a long-term solution, I applaud President Trump and the entire administration for bringing China to the table to secure this deal. I look forward to working with the administration to forge a Phase Two agreement with China.
The second major win was the overwhelming approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) 89 to 10 in the Senate and the signing of this critical free and fair trade deal. After an initial announcement by President Trump more than a year ago, Kansas farmers, manufacturers and workers will finally begin to reap the positive benefits this agreement will bring.
In addition to the tremendous support in the Senate, the House passed the USMCA in December 385 to 41, with 193 Democrats supporting the agreement. It was an honor serving with Whip Steve Scalise and my colleagues on the USMCA leadership whip team that helped advance USMCA through Congress. On the last Wednesday in January, I had the honor of joining President Trump at the White House as he signed the USMCA into law. I’m grateful for his follow-through on this commitment to America’s workforce.
The EPA recently announced a reversal of the overreaching “Waters of the U.S.” rule while still protecting waterways throughout the country.
Kansas farmers and ranchers know best how to conserve and maintain their land, which is why I’m pleased with President Trump’s announcement that rolls back Washington’s overreach. With the implementation of the common sense Navigable Waters Protection Rule, landowners will now have clarity and predictability as they focus on supplying the food and ag products all Americans rely on daily.
Annual March for Life
Earlier in January, our country regrettably marked the 47th anniversary of the tragic ruling in Roe v. Wade. While some celebrate it as a right, many throughout the United States and here in Kansas regard terminating another human life as a grievous practice in the name of choice.
That’s why thousands of Kansans, including more than 700 from south central Kansas, joined tens of thousands of other pro-life supporters in our nation’s capital for the March for Life. They came from all backgrounds and parts of the country, and they believed that all life is valuable. It was especially encouraging to see the number of young people who ventured to Washington, D.C., like they do each year to participate in this annual gathering.
While our country faces many challenges, understanding the value of each individual life — even before they are born — is paramount for me and many in our District.
I was also honored to receive an A rating on Susan B. Anthony List’s National Pro-Life Scorecard. Like the thousands of Kansans who marched in our nation’s capital, I’ll continue to stand for life and protect the unborn.
Congressional Art Competition
Each spring, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor a nationwide high school art competition. An Artistic Discovery contest is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in our congressional district, as well as in the nation.
The overall winner of our district’s competition will have their artwork displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol and will receive two round-trip airfare tickets to attend a reception in Washington, D.C. Additional prizes may be awarded.
The deadline for submission is Friday, April 3, 2020. Interested students or high school art teachers can find more information on my website at estes.house.gov.
Connect with Me
Interested in receiving regular updates about what’s going on in Congress? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at estes.house.gov and please don’t hesitate to reach out to my District Office in Wichita at 316-262-8992 if you have questions, concerns or need help with a federal agency.
Ron Estes is a fifth-generation Kansan and represents Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.