Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to be in Artesia on Wednesday to speak at the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade event.
The event is hosted by America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting policy initiatives.
Area government leaders expressed enthusiasm for Pence’s visit.
“I am excited about it,” Carlsbad City Councilor Jason Shirley said. “This is where the action is as far as energy and a growing booming economy are concerned. Southeast New Mexico is a perfect place to discuss the USMCA trade deal.”
Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage said Pence will visit “one of the biggest oil producing counties in the world.”
“From previous personal experience, I can tell you that he is a true statesman and always a gentleman,” Cage said. “I generally like the man and I happy that many of my fellow New Mexicans will get to see him in person.”
Republican state Sen. Gay Kernan said Pence should take the opportunity to see first hand the revenue produced for New Mexico state government in the Eddy County oilfields.
“We are self-sustaining when to comes to energy,” she said. “I think this is going to be a great day for Southeast New Mexico and New Mexico.”
The Democratic Party of New Mexico had a different take on Pence’s visit.
“The Trump administration is sending Vice President Pence to New Mexico to distract from their long record of broken promises,” said Party Chairwoman Marg Elliston in a news release. “Republicans claim that they’ll fight for working people, but they run around and offer tax breaks to billionaires and multinational corporations.
“New Mexicans see right through this hypocrisy, and that’s why we’re ready to put a Democrat in the White House in 2020.”
The agreement was drafted last year and is a renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement established 25 years ago.
President Donald Trump signed the agreement along with the prime minister of Canada and the president of Mexico.
The trade agreement passed Mexico’s senate June 20 and a second reading passed Canada’s House of Commons and was referred to a committee.
The agreement needs approval of the U.S. Congress.