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Reasons for Good Cheer (Editorial)

2 min read

It was a good week for:

► Trade. And that means it was a good week for Arkansas, President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress — all at the same time!

A Christmas miracle? No. The United States, Mexico and Canada reached agreement on trade among the three nations, what’s known as the “new NAFTA,” a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994.

The new accord, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, still needs congressional approval, though that appears likely, and Sen. Mitch McConnell said it wouldn’t be brought to the Senate before the holiday break begins Dec. 20.

Arkansas business and agriculture interests hailed the agreement. “Passage of USMCA will help stabilize the marketplace and will allow the United States to focus efforts on other important trade agreements around the world,” said Arkansas Farm Bureau President Rich Hillman. (He was, no doubt, referring to China. The Wall Street Journal reported as we went to press that the U.S. has offered to cut tariffs on Chinese goods if that country promises big buys of U.S. agricultural products.)

► Arkansas again, particularly Conway, which got the news that Canadian company Structurlam Mass Timber Corp. would be spending $90 million to buy and retrofit a former Nucor Fastener plant to manufacture mass timber products. It will employ 130. Walmart will be using a lot of those products in building its new headquarters in Bentonville. The retailer, which plans to use more than 1.1 million cubic feet of Arkansas-grown and Arkansas-produced mass timber for the project, is also an investor in Structurlam.

► The Arkansas Razorbacks? Well, we certainly hope so. Sam Pittman seemed genuinely delighted to be taking the coaching job, which has to be one of the hardest in college football. We wish him the best. And a winning season.

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