The on-again, off-again trip to Wisconsin by Vice President Mike Pence to promote the Trump Administration’s revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is on again.
Originally scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17, Pence’s visit to a Kenosha County company owned by Republican megadonors has now been scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Pence is scheduled to speak about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — the trade deal signed last November by leaders of the three countries to update the North America Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Uline Corp., a packaging supply manufacturer and distributor, will host the visit at a company warehouse.
USMCA, commonly referred to as “NAFTA 2.0,” has been ratified by Mexico but not yet by the U.S. Congress or Canada’s parliament. In a meeting with reporters in Madison this week, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth) indicated that before it could pass it would require several changes.
Pence’s Wisconsin visit was postponed after it was announced that the vice president would lead a delegation, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to Ankara to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week. Their mission is to persuade Erdogan to agree to a cease-fire in northeast Syria, where Turkish forces have been on the offensive since last week and have killed hundreds of Kurdish people previously protected by U.S. troops.
Pompeo’s trip to Uline is sponsored by America First Policies, a nonprofit group promoting positions advanced by the Trump administration and its conservative allies.
Uline’s owners, Dick and Liz Uihlein, are active in funding political causes on the right. So far in the 2020 election cycle, Dick Uihlein has made $5.75 million in donations to outside groups supporting conservative candidates, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
In the 2018 cycle, his spending reached $37.7 million, all of that to like-minded super PACs; he ranked fourth among big-money donors overall and, among donors on the right, second only to Nevada Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.