Pence in Indiana: Does the impeachment probe cloud new trade deal talk?

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In the midst of an impeachment inquiry, Vice President Mike Pence is in town to advocate for a new trade deal.

He’s asking Hoosiers to urge Congress to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

He spoke at MacAllister Machinery in Indianapolis Thursday afternoon.

“I came to Indiana to say it’s time for Congress to pass US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and pass it this year,” said Vice President Mike Pence.

The passage of USMCA is crucial to the Trump Administration.

“This is one of the things Donald Trump campaigned on when he was running for President in 2016,” said Political Science Professor Laura Wilson with the University of Indianapolis. “He was interested in renegotiating some of our economic ties and relationships with countries.”

The future of this trade agreement is unknown as Congress focuses on the possibility of impeachment.

“Because essentially, it’s taking up all the oxygen in the room,” said Wilson. “You have six different committees working on impeachment inquiry now. They were already investigating the president. Anything policy wise including the agreement with Mexico, it’s going to become second.”

Vice President Pence didn’t go into detail about the impeachment inquiry.

“Whatever they want to do in Congress to construct our agenda or roll out their latest accusations against this President to divide this country President Donald Trump and I are never going to stop fighting,” said Pence.

“The Vice President works very closely with the President,” said Wilson. “He doesn’t want to throw him under the bus or insinuate anything that he says isn’t there yet so it makes perfect sense that that’s how he would frame them in terms of allegations versus an impeachment investigation.”

Wilson said the timing of Pence’s visit was important.

“I think his presence here is necessary and part of his role can be to quell the fears quell the commotion and ensure everyone that the Administration is doing the right thing that they are on the right track,” said Wilson.

During the VP’s speech, he asked all Hoosiers to contact their representatives to pass the USMCA. He specifically named Indiana Congressman Andre Carson.

We reached out to Carson for comment. His representative said, “Congressman Carson has been closely following the discussions surrounding USMCA. However, he has concerns about the agreement in its current form and is working to secure changes that would make him more likely to support it.”

Vice President Pence will stay in Indianapolis Friday for more events.

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