Check back for updates as the US Senate has passed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement by a vote of 89-10.
WASHINGTON D.C.- (AP) The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a new North American trade pact that rewrites the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico. Passage of the measure gives President Donald Trump a major policy victory before senators turns their full attention to his impeachment trial. The measure goes to Trump for his signature. It would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA. It tore down most trade barriers and triggered a surge in trade. But Trump and other critics blamed NAFTA for encouraging U.S. companies to move their manufacturing plants south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican laborers.
Secretary Naig Celebrates the Passing of the USMCA Trade Agreement
DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 16, 2020) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s vote to pass the USMCA trade agreement.
“I want to thank President Trump for his commitment to negotiating better trade deals for America’s farmers,” said Secretary Naig. “This year, we’ve secured new agreements with Japan, China, Canada and Mexico — four of our largest trading partners — which gives producers greater market access for their products and a renewed sense of optimism heading into the 2020 growing season.”
Secretary Perdue Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA
(Washington, D.C., January 16, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after the Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a bipartisan vote of 89 – 10.
“We’ve long waited for this day and now USMCA will finally head to the President’s desk,” Secretary Perdue said. “The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. With Congressional consideration now complete, our farmers and ranchers are eager to see the President sign this legislation and begin reaping the benefits of this critical agreement. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for successfully delivering an improved and modern trade agreement and working so hard for the people of American agriculture to get this deal across the finish line.”
USMCA will advance United States agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. This high-standard agreement builds upon our existing markets to expand United States food and agricultural exports and support food processing and rural jobs.
Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports support more than 325,000 American jobs.
All food and agricultural products that have zero tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will remain at zero tariffs. Since the original NAFTA did not eliminate all tariffs on agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, the USMCA will create new market access opportunities for United States exports to Canada of dairy, poultry, and eggs, and in exchange the United States will provide new access to Canada for some dairy, peanut, and a limited amount of sugar and sugar-containing products.
Earlier this year, nearly 1,000 American food and agriculture associations and companies announced their support for USMCA and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture signed a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to ratify USMCA.
In September, all former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture since President Reagan’s Administration announced support for USMCA. In a letter to Congressional leaders, former Secretaries John Block (Reagan), Mike Espy (Clinton), Dan Glickman (Clinton), Ann Veneman (W. Bush), Mike Johanns (W. Bush), Ed Shafer (W. Bush), and Tom Vilsack (Obama) underscored the importance of passing USMCA saying, “We need a strong and reliable trade deal with our top two customers for U.S. agriculture products. USMCA will provide certainty in the North American market for the U.S. farm sector and rural economy. We strongly support ratification of USMCA.”
Key Provision: Increasing Dairy Market Access
America’s dairy farmers will have expanded market opportunities in Canada for a wide variety of dairy products. Canada agreed to eliminate the unfair Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs that allowed their farmers to undersell U.S. producers.
Key Provision: Biotechnology
For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology – including new technologies such as gene editing – to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies.
Key Provision: Geographical Indications
The agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators and lays out additional factors to be considered in determining whether a term is a common name.
Key Provision: Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures
The three countries agree to strengthen disciplines for science-based measures that protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.
Key Provision: Poultry and Eggs
U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey, and eggs.
Key Provision: Wheat
Canada agrees to terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system, enabling U.S. growers to be more competitive.
Key Provision: Wine and Spirits
The three countries agree to avoid technical barriers to trade through non-discrimination and transparency regarding sale, distribution, labeling, and certification of wine and distilled spirits.
Congress Ratifies USMCA: A Great Start to 2020 for Corn Farmers
JOHNSTON, IA – January 16, 2020 – Today Congress ratified the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) allowing for free trade with our neighboring countries to the north and the south. The bill, which passed with broad support, will now go to President Trump’s desk for his signature. Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market. In 2018/2019, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada. These exports were valued at $4.56 billion. In 2018/2019, Mexico was the top export for U.S. corn and DDGS while Canada was the top export of U.S. ethanol.
“The United States is set up perfectly to trade with our neighbors to the north and south of us,” said Jim Greif Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) President and farmer from Monticello. “The passage of the modernized agreement is a bright spot for corn farmers starting fresh in 2020 as exports are a key market for corn in all forms. Last year was tough for many farmers who faced an excess amount of challenges outside of our control. USMCA demonstrates the commitment for trade agreements for the United States, and ICGA will continue to work for the facilitation of free trade with partners around the world.”
ICGA extends a thank you to members and the Iowa Congressional leaders for their continued efforts to see USMCA to the finish line.
NPPC Applauds Senate for Overwhelmingly Approving USMCA
“Ratification of USMCA has been a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), and we thank members of the Senate who supported this critical trade deal,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “USMCA provides U.S. pork producers with certainty in two of our largest export markets. It received strong support in both chambers of Congress, and we look forward to seeing President Trump sign it into law.”
In 2018, Canada and Mexico took more than 40 percent of the pork that was exported from the United States and a similar volume is expected in 2019. U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico support 16,000 U.S. jobs.
“We also appreciate the administration’s work to establish a phase-one trade agreement with China,” added Herring. “We urge China to eliminate all restrictions on U.S. pork exports at a time when they are struggling with food price inflation and need reliable, affordable sources of pork. Doing so would more than double annual U.S. pork sales, generate 184,000 new American jobs and reduce the overall trade deficit with China by nearly six percent, all within the next decade.”
NCGA Statement: Senate Passes USMCA
(WASHINGTON) January 16, 2020 – 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.”
About the National Corn Growers Association
Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 50 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for their members and their industry.
WASHINGTON (Jan. 16, 2020) – The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) applauds today’s final passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock released the following statement:
“We applaud the efforts by the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill for delivering this historic trade agreement to the finish line. This agreement will advance the relationship between two of the most important markets for American farmers and agribusinesses.
“Agricultural retailers and their farmer customers will directly benefit from the expanded market access and the preserved zero-tariff platforms among ag products, which is a relief during a challenging time in the ag economy.
“We thank our membership for its dedication to grassroots advocacy throughout the USMCA’s journey. Their dedicated advocacy, joined with the voices of so many other Americans, has paid off.”
ARA encourages members and agricultural retailers to sign up for grassroots alerts from ARA to stay informed on issues impacting their businesses.
“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.”