Speaking at the Holland Civic Center, Upton was the featured guest during the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce’s annual member breakfast.
Upton, who represents Michigan’s 6th Congressional District, spoke of recent trade issues between the U.S. and its partners, supporting DACA recipients and the state of the House of Representatives in Washington.
Upton fielded questions from chamber members during the event. He told members that while recently proposed tariffs did bring trading partners Canada and Mexico to the negotiating table with the U.S., the tariffs being lifted are a positive for the country.
He believes the United States Mexico Canada Trade Agreement will serve well as a replacement for NAFTA.
“Trade is very important, and most experts say this is a good deal for Michigan,” he said.
Upton believes the USMCA, coupled with previous tax reforms passed in Washington, will allow businesses and corporations to invest in West Michigan, leading to the growth of the state’s economy as a whole.
Immigration reform also piqued interest from chamber members. Upton told the audience he is a proponent of increased border security, including a wall on “some parts” of the U.S. Southern Border.
He added DACA recipients, or undocumented children who were brought into the country, should have legal status.
“Talk about a broken system, this is it,” Upton said. “This is just crazy, we have millions of kids ... married, working, paying taxes. Some would just like to ship them back wherever and that’s wrong. We’re better than that as a country.
“I strongly believe in immigration reform. You can’t get that without dreamers, they should have legal status.”
Upton said that Congress needs to pass elements of immigration form in a bipartisan matter. Bipartisanship, he said, is the way to solve a large portion of the nation’s problems.
“I have always said my door is open to everyone, I’m not going to be a rubber stamp for anyone,” he said about working with Democrats in Congress and President Donald Trump.
“I’m not afraid to walk the line when I need to do it.”
Upton is a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in Washington. He described as ‘taking the best ideas from both sides and moving them forward.’
Following the Q&A segment, chamber officials recognized Upton with the Spirit of Enterprise Award, given to representatives with high pro-business voting records.
Kevin Courtois, Manager of Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Great Lakes Regional Office, said Upton is just one of seven legislators with a 100 percent pro-business voting record.