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Vice President Mike Pence said during a Thursday visit to J&D Manufacturing in Altoona that the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal would benefit Wisconsin farmers and manufacturers. View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com.

ALTOONA — Vice President Mike Pence implored Congress to pass an updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico in a stop Thursday at J&D Manufacturing.

Pence held a private roundtable meeting to discuss trade issues with Chippewa Valley business leaders and legislators before touting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to a crowd of about 200 workers and area residents.

"The time has come for Congress to pass the USMCA. It's a win for Wisconsin and a win for America," Pence said from a raised platform, backed by six J&D workers and a huge banner declaring "Wisconsin manufacturers support USMCA."

Pence declared that the new trade deal, signed by President Trump and the leaders of Canada and Mexico last year but still awaiting congressional approval, would update the North American Free Trade Agreement in a way that would enable U.S. workers to compete on a level playing field in North America.

After his 20-minute speech, Pence greeted members of the audience before heading to Fort McCoy to meet with soldiers and their families.