WASHINGTON — The following statements have been released following an agreement between House Democrats and The White House on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). For the USDA statement on USMCA passage, please click here.
Chairmen Peterson and Costa statements on USMCA
House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson and House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa released the following statements today following the announcement of a deal between House Democrats and The White House on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“I have been pushing for months to get this deal to the finish line, and this announcement is great news for farmers, businesses and workers, in Western Minnesota and nationwide,” said Peterson. “The threat of leaving NAFTA without a deal would have been devastating, and this deal provides needed certainty for our producers. This agreement makes updates to how the three countries will address biotechnology, and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues. The USMCA also preserves the market our farmers are currently accessing while making modest gains for our dairy, poultry, and wheat growers in the Canadian market. Rural America has faced many hurdles and challenges with these trade wars, and passing the USMCA is a step in the right direction.”
“Trade is vital to American agriculture, especially for the specialty crop, tree nut, dairy and livestock producers in the San Joaquin Valley and across California,” said Costa. “The USMCA protects the access they had into the Canadian and Mexican markets, and provides nominal gains in some important areas. It’s good to see that this deal strengthens labor and environmental standards and provides mechanisms to enforce this agreement. I am proud to support approval of the USMCA, but we also must recognize that going forward, incremental improvements and protecting the status quo won’t reverse farmer losses as a result of the trade war. For that to happen, the Administration needs to remove its tariffs, which are the source of so much economic hardship for our farmers, and at the core of our depressed farm economy.”
Farm Bureau Asks for Swift USMCA Approval
The following statement may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:
“We urge members of Congress to swiftly approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Agriculture is at a critical crossroads with the downturn in commodity prices, losses from natural disasters and the trade war. This is an opportunity for Congress not only to help U.S. farmers and ranchers turn the corner on trade, but also show that Washington can still get things done on a bipartisan basis.
“Ratification of the USMCA would build on the momentum of the U.S.-Japan agreement, which gave a major boost to American agricultural products in our fourth-largest market, and send a signal that the U.S. is back in business in the international marketplace.
“We urge Congress to work toward speedy approval. America’s farms and ranches are depending on you.”
NCGA Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Advance USMCA to Congress, Urges Passage
National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today made the below statement following an announcement that the White House and Congress are moving forward with the necessary legislative steps to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“NCGA’s top legislative priority in 2019 has been passing USMCA. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to ratifying this important agreement and securing the future of our trading relationship with Mexico and Canada, the top export market for U.S. corn farmers. It’s been a brutal year for many farmers who really need the certainty this would provide for agricultural trade.
“NCGA appreciates the bipartisan efforts between Speaker Pelosi, Ambassador Lighthizer and the House working group to reach an agreement. I urge lawmakers to pass USMCA and help us close out 2019 with a win for America’s farmers and the U.S. economy.”
Soy Farmers Appreciate USMCA Agreement, Ask for Swift Passage
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased that United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have announced agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“We are very happy to hear a bipartisan compromise has been achieved, and we now encourage our Congressional leaders to swiftly ratify this agreement by bringing it to vote,” said Davie Stephens, soy grower from Clinton, KY, and ASA president. “This deal is a positive for U.S. soybean farmers,” he concluded.
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.
ASA and other agriculture groups have for months advocated on the Hill and online for #USMCAnow to encourage Congress to ratify USMCA by year end.
AFIA Applauds USMCA Agreement, Urges Swift Ratification
The American Feed Industry Association applauds the efforts made by the House Democrats’ Trade Working Group and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to resolve the remaining provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and for reaching a deal.
“Now, with the ratification window quickly closing on 2019 and an election year looming, AFIA strongly urges Congress to bring the agreement to a vote,” said Constance Cullman, AFIA’s president and CEO. “Ratifying the agreement will allow U.S. animal food producers to continue to remain competitive in the region while strengthening regulatory engagement and commitments among the three countries.”
In an ever-increasing global economy, our neighbors to the north and south still have the largest impact on the feed industry and on American agriculture as a whole. Mexico and Canada respectively represent our country’s largest and second largest export markets for feed, feed ingredients and pet food. Since the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) implementation, animal food exports to Canada and Mexico have almost tripled, growing from $669 million in 1993 to $3.2 billion in 2018. While NAFTA has been a linchpin in the success of the feed industry for the past quarter-century, the USMCA brings new labor provisions to protect U.S. jobs and provides enforceable sanitary and phytosanitary obligations that build upon World Trade Organization rights and obligations.
USMCA Agreement a Win for US Chicken Producers; NCC Urges Swift Passage
The National Chicken Council (NCC) today issued the following statement after the announced agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
“USMCA will maintain and improve market access for U.S. chicken in our top two markets in terms of value, Mexico and Canada,” said NCC President Mike Brown. “It will also positively impact both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.
“On behalf of America’s chicken producers, 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. After a year of negotiations, the time to act is now. We encourage swift Congressional consideration and passage of USMCA before Christmas.”
Dairy farmers applaud White House, Dems for agreement on USMCA
Edge urges House to take up and pass ‘critical’ trade deal
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, today applauded the progress made by the Trump administration and Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives on a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
House leaders announced that the two sides have agreed on final details of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), clearing the way for the full House to consider the deal.
“Dairy farmers across the Midwest appreciate the commitment and work of the administration and lawmakers to secure a better trade deal for U.S. dairy farmers,” said Brody Stapel, president of Edge and a dairy farmer in eastern Wisconsin. “Our farmers have been waiting in uncertainty for more than a year for USMCA to get done. So, it’s certainly good news to see the deal take this significant step forward. There are more steps to be taken, however, so we are not breathing a full sigh of relief.
“USMCA is critical to the long-term success of the U.S. dairy community. Mexico is our number one dairy foods export market and Canada is third. Combined they account for more than $2 billion each year. This agreement would protect those longtime trading relationships and allow for growth in market share. That means economic certainty for businesses, families, employees and rural communities.
“We call upon House leadership to swiftly bring USMCA to the floor and for representatives to pass it. There is too much at stake to wait any longer.”
National Farmers Union: Congress, White House Come to Agreement on USMCA
After many months of negotiations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced today that the White House and Congress had come to an agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
At its quarterly meeting in September, the National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors called for further improvements to the agreement before final passage. Specifically, they advocated greater protections to American family farmers and ranchers, including stronger labor, environment, and enforcement provisions; the revision of language related to the marketing exclusivity of certain prescription drugs; stronger anti-dumping protections for agricultural goods; and the re-establishment Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) authority.
Text of the agreement has not yet been made available, but early reports indicate that it makes the desired changes to pharmaceutical drugs and includes at least some improvements on labor standards. The status of the remainder of the board’s asks is still unclear; consequently, it is withholding conclusive judgement until the finalized language is released.
NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the announcement:
“The free trade framework established by NAFTA has dominated our international trade deals over the past two-and-a-half decades, to the detriment of American workers – it has contributed to the movement of rural manufacturing jobs overseas, caused our national deficit to balloon, lowered wages, and eroded national sovereignty. Though we are encouraged by efforts to reform this framework, earlier drafts of USMCA did not go far enough to protect family farmers and rural communities. We are hopeful that this version incorporates the board’s recommendations; as soon as more details are available, I will call a special meeting of the NFU Board of Directors to decide whether we will support or oppose the final deal.”
Signing Moves USMCA Towards Benefits for U.S. Wheat Growers
Today’s signing of the renegotiated U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a welcome step toward a final agreement that will provide much needed reassurance for wheat growers and the entire U.S. agricultural industry. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) want to thank U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for his steadfast efforts throughout USMCA development process as well as Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, and Lighthizer for working with Speaker Pelosi and other Congressional leadership to find a path forward.
“U.S. wheat growers need to continue trading freely and fairly with Mexico, our largest international customer, and this agreement will finally end that uncertainty,” said Doug Goyings, USW Chairman and a wheat farmer from Paulding, Ohio. “In addition, if U.S. farmers want to deliver wheat across the border to a Canadian elevator, and that wheat is on Canada’s varietal registration list, under USMCA it will not be downgraded. We hope that this agreement will be approved and implemented quickly so we can move on to negotiating more high-quality trade agreements like USMCA that benefit our economy and our trading partners.”
“NAWG hopes that today’s news will motivate Congress to take a vote on USMCA before the end of the year,” stated NAWG President and Lavon, TX wheat farmer Ben Scholz. “Wheat growers view this as a major step in getting USMCA over the finish line and hope that it will help those Members who are undecided to vote ‘yes’ on this critical trade deal.”
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