On Wednesday, Mexican lawmakers became the first government body to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. This trade agreement will replace NAFTA and will continue open trade between the three countries.
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “The USMCA is the strongest and most advanced trade agreement ever negotiated. It is good for the United States, Mexico, and Canada in a way that truly benefits our workers, farmers, and businesses. The USMCA’s ratification by Mexico is a crucial step forward, and I congratulate President López Obrador and the Mexican Senate on this historic achievement.”
After an overwhelming majority vote from Mexico’s Senate (114-4), the trade deal is now waiting on approval from lawmakers in the United States and Canada.
President Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “Congratulations to President Lopez Obrador — Mexico voted to ratify the USMCA today by a huge margin. Time for Congress to do the same here!”
Nearly 1,000 groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels have called on Congress to support the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. In the letter, the groups noted the International Trade Commission estimates the new agreement will add $68.2 billion to annual gross domestic product.
“Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy,” the groups wrote. “USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade.”
“Prior to the NAFTA, state intervention and import tariffs kept U.S. wheat exports to the Mexican market very low,” stated National Association of Wheat Grower President and Lavon, TX Farmer Ben Scholz. “When NAFTA was implemented, tariffs on U.S. wheat went to zero, allowing the market to grow expeditiously. Now, Mexico consistently serves as the second largest market for U.S. wheat exports.”