The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was signed by the three nations leaders on November 30, 2018, with the promise of better trade and increases opportunities to vital markets. However, the wait for Congress to review and approve the new agreement has been a long time coming, and farmers have been patient.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall explains the current situation, “The administration’s submitting the Statement of Administration Action on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to Congress is good news for U.S. farmers and ranchers. This notice means that we are one step closer to locking in vital market opportunities developed with our North American neighbors and expanding further on the gains we’ve made over the past three decades.
“The USMCA will provide new market access for dairy and poultry products and maintains the zero-tariff platform on most ag products. It includes provisions for improved health and safety standards that will reduce trade-distorting practices. It also contains measures that address cooperation, information sharing and other trade rules among the three nations related to agricultural biotechnology and gene editing. We still have work to do in some areas, such as addressing the timing of import surges from Mexico to ensure they do not harm our domestic fruit and vegetable sectors. However, we need to secure the gains that are in front of us today.
“The SAA begins a 30-day period after which the administration may submit implementing legislation for the USMCA to be considered by Congress. It is an important step toward a vote on the agreement.
“The USMCA is a hard-fought win for agriculture and we commend the administration for its efforts to solidify two of our most vital trade relationships. We now call on Congress to ratify the deal.”
Last week, President Trump tweeted the U.S. will impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican imports starting June 10 due to the situation at the Southern Border. This left many farmers and businesses wondering what would happen to the USMCA. According to Reuters, “Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hinted on Saturday that his government could agree to tighten migration controls to defuse Trump’s threat, and said he expected “good results” from the talks in Washington.”