WASHINGTON — Editor’s note: The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has been passed by the U.S. Senate, 89-10. The following statements have been released by agriculture organizations in reaction to this news.
NFU Applauds Senate’s Passage of USMCA
The U.S. Senate today voted 89-10 in favor of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), moving the trilateral deal to President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.
Though National Farmers Union (NFU) initially withheld endorsement when USMCA was introduced over a year ago, the organization’s board voted to support it after the U.S. House of Representatives made several improvements. NFU President Roger Johnson applauded the agreement’s passage and urged future improvements to American trade policy:
“For 25 years, National Farmers Union has stood in staunch opposition to the disastrous free trade framework established by NAFTA. By prioritizing the interests of corporations over those of working-class Americans, this framework is largely responsible for our massive trade deficit, the rapid exportation of domestic jobs, the decline of wages, and the deterioration of our national sovereignty.
“Though USMCA is not a perfect replacement, it does make some important changes to its predecessor. We are particularly encouraged by the inclusion of stronger labor standards, more robust enforcement mechanisms, and better environmental protections. On top of that, we are pleased to see the partial elimination of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration procedure, which is the source of many of our aforementioned grievances against NAFTA.
“That being said, there is still significant room for improvement. This trade deal still doesn’t restore commonsense Country-of-Origin-Labeling, nor does it address import dumping. With that in mind, we urge Congress and the Trump administration to continue working to strengthen trade deals so they better support the success of family farmers and rural communities.”
NCGA Statement: Senate Passes USMCA
National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today thanked members of the U.S. Senate for their bipartisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Ross made the following statement.
“Nearly a year ago, NCGA’s farmer members, recognizing the importance of our trading relationship with Mexico and Canada, declared passage of USMCA their top legislative priority. Since that time, corn farmers have been using every opportunity to urge members of Congress to support the new trade agreement and we are incredibly thankful for the strong bipartisan support it has received in the Senate today.
“NCGA thanks the U.S. Senators who voted to ensure corn farmers will continue to have access to our largest and most reliable markets and is especially grateful for the leadership of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who has been a steadfast supporter of corn growers and committed to getting USMCA across the finish line.”
U.S.-Mexico-Canada Reunited by USMCA!
Ratification of New North American Free Trade Deal Feels Good for Soy Growers
Soy growers, other agriculture and business groups have rallied collectively for months to urge Congress to pass the “new NAFTA.” Today, on Jan.16, it happened! The American Soybean Association (ASA) expresses its strong appreciation to Senate leaders for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a overwhelming 89-10 vote. With passage through both congressional chambers, USMCA will now move to the president’s desk for signature. This final step will ensure soy growers maintain access to two of their top markets.
“ASA has worked throughout the year to encourage legislative support for USMCA, so we appreciate Congress working with the administration, coming together for this bipartisan effort, and getting USMCA to the final step,” said Bill Gordon. “In addition to securing the Mexican market as the second largest importer of U.S. soybeans, the terms agreed to by Canada will increase U.S. poultry and dairy exports, which is also a positive for our industry.”
Mexico is the #2 market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is the #4 buyer of meal and #7 buyer of oil for U.S. soybean farmers, making the trade agreement essential to sustaining the growth realized in those two countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under NAFTA, U.S. soybean sales to Mexico quadrupled and to Canada doubled.
Gordon concluded, “We express our gratitude to Congress for making USMCA passage a priority, as it means we can start 2020 on a more positive note.”
Farmers for Free Trade Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA
Today, Farmers for Free Trade Co-Executive Director, Angela Hofmann released the following statement on Senate passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“Today’s overwhelmingly bipartisan show of support for North American trade will help restore certainty and predictability in our farmers’ most important markets. USMCA also provides important ag victories including on market access for poultry and dairy, provisions that require science-based decision making on trade, and advances in supporting 21st century agricultural innovations.
“Over the last year, Farmers for Free Trade traveled the country in support of USMCA. In blue states and red states we found the same support for ensuring American farmers can export free of duties or red tape. From the State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa where we hosted a roundtable with Senator Grassley to a townhall meeting in Grass Valley, Oregon where we talked to Senator Wyden, it was clear that sound trade policy came before politics. Our hope is that as we begin work on new trade agreements with Japan, the EU, the UK and others the same bipartisan support for trade policies that open markets for American farmers continues.”
- Farmers for Free Trade completed a 20,000 mile, 30 state, 100 stop and 47 event tour meeting with many of the key rural House Democrats who have pushed for passage of the agreement. Read more about the Motorcade for Trade HERE.
- Farmers for Free Trade is currently running an over $300,000 ad buy in just over 20 Congressional districts that focuses on why USMCA is a badly needed victory for farmers and the rural economy. Read more HERE.
- Farmers for Free Trade recently sent a letter to Congressional leaders from over 2,200 farmers calling for quick passage of USMCA. Read more HERE.
U.S. Wheat Industry Applauds Senate for Passing the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement
The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) today.
“Trade deals can put the price of wheat back on track for many growers and create new opportunities for many farmers,” said NAWG President and Lavon, Tex., farmer Ben Scholz. “NAWG applauds the U.S. Senate for moving quickly on passing USMCA out of the Chamber.”
“Mexico continues to be our top importing country,” said USW Chairman and Paulding, Ohio, farmer Doug Goyings. “Wheat farmers are relieved to see the agreement moving on to the President and I think the Mexican millers who want our wheat are relieved, too.”
USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for those long-time flour milling customers in Mexico, a crucial step toward rebuilding trust in the U.S. as a reliable supplier in this important, neighboring market. In addition, the USMCA makes important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the Canadian border by allowing U.S. varieties registered in Canada to receive reciprocal grading treatment.
Other measures that benefit the wheat industry include the Agreement’s language around agricultural biotechnology which supports 21st Century innovations in agriculture and new language to strengthen disciplines for science-based SPS measures.
TFI Applauds Senate Approval of USMCA
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) Vice President of Stewardship and Sustainability Lara Moody today welcomed the U.S. Senate’s approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The historic trade agreement, once signed by President Trump, will strengthen U.S. agricultural exports and provide needed certainty to agricultural markets.
“We commend Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and members of the U.S. Senate for coming together in a bipartisan fashion to overwhelmingly approve the USMCA and we look forward to President Trump signing the deal as quickly as possible. This new agreement will provide the millions of hard-working men and women in U.S. agriculture with a huge economic win and allow them to compete on the global stage by ensuring that markets with our strongest trading partners remain open and fair,” said Moody. “Mexico and Canada are two of the United States’ biggest trading partners and together import over 60% of U.S. agricultural goods.”
USMCA is a Big Win for the U.S. Animal Food Industry
The American Feed Industry Association congratulates and thanks Congress on the long-awaited passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The U.S. animal food manufacturing industry depends on the free-trade access it enjoys with Canada and Mexico, which has allowed exports of feed ingredients, feed and pet food to more than quadruple since the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) implementation, growing from roughly $669 million in 1993 to over $3.2 billion today.
Constance Cullman, AFIA’s president and CEO, stated the following:
“I am excited for the opportunities that will come from the implementation of USMCA. The USMCA not only builds on the success of NAFTA by facilitating greater market access, regulatory transparency and accountability among the three trading partners, but it also sends a message to our other trading partners that the United States is serious about enhancing trading relationships, supporting U.S. businesses and exports and setting a new standard for how trade agreements with the United States are expected to look. In addition, many AFIA members have integrated businesses – where they have operations in the United States, Mexico and Canada and the USMCA will facilitate growth across all their business units.”
NCC Praises Senate Passage of USMCA
National Chicken Council President Mike Brown issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate today passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by an 89-10 vote:
“The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s chicken producers,” Brown said. “USMCA will maintain or improve market access for chicken exports in our top two valued markets – Mexico and Canada. It will also positively impact both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.
“I want to thank President Trump for his leadership and for the tireless work of the administration, including Agriculture Secretary Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer. We look forward to President Trump’s signature as early as today.”
The House of Representatives passed the bill on December 19, 2019, by a 385-41 vote. Mexico passed the agreement on December 12, 2019. Canada has yet to vote on the agreement, but the House of Commons returns on January 27 and is expected to approve the agreement soon after.
In 2018, the last full year data is available, Mexico was a $517 million market for U.S. chicken exports, with Canada totaling $352 million.
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