Yesterday we were talking about how many agricultural groups were pleased with the signing of the phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China. Well, the trade news continues, as today we are talking about the fact the U.S. Senate has passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a vote of 89-10. Many agricultural groups also cheered that news.
Secretary Perdue Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA
(USDA) — 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 (PDF, 86.0 KB), 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.
Farmers celebrate passage of trade agreement
(CFBF) — Following today’s passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement by the U.S. Senate, the California Farm Bureau Federation said the trade pact will help farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses throughout the state.
“Passage of the USMCA has been a top priority for Farm Bureau and other farm organizations, and we’re excited to have achieved the milestone of congressional passage,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Today’s Senate vote brings us closer to realizing the agreement’s benefits to California.”
President Trump’s signature on the USMCA will finalize its ratification by the United States. Mexico has also ratified the agreement. The Canadian House of Commons is expected to vote on the pact in coming weeks.
“We’re grateful to the many California farmers and ranchers who contacted their elected representatives on behalf of USMCA, and we thank Senator Feinstein for her vote to approve the agreement,” Johansson said. “The USMCA will further open markets for California-grown food and agricultural products, and will benefit the tens of thousands of Californians whose jobs rely on farm exports to Canada and Mexico.
“This has been a big week for trade developments, considering the signing of a Phase 1 agreement between the U.S. and China,” Johansson said. “We’re hopeful the Phase 1 agreement will ultimately lead to further easing of trade between the two nations, and that the United States will continue to pursue trade policies that open markets for high-quality California farm products.”
Source: California Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural Retailers Association Applauds Final Passage of USMCA
(ARA) — The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) applauds the 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.
Source: Agriculture Retailers Association
U.S. Dairy Industry Praises Administration and Congress for Final Passage of USMCA
(NMPF) — The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) cheered the Senate vote paving the way for the President’s signature of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Looking ahead, USDEC and NMPF urged U.S. officials to carefully monitor Canada and Mexico’s USMCA commitments once the trade deal takes effect to ensure its provisions are enforced accordingly so that the dairy industry is able to reap the full benefits of the agreement negotiated by Ambassador Lighthizer and the negotiating teams at USTR and USDA.
“USMCA makes important strides to break down trade barriers, opening the door to new opportunities and supporting the flow of high-quality American dairy products to two valuable export markets,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. “The strong enforcement measures included in the final agreement give officials the tools necessary to hold our trade partners accountable and ensure the gains secured by USMCA are completely realized. We are grateful to the Administration for the sizable accomplishments secured in USMCA on dairy. With this trade deal complete, negotiators can now turn their attention to other key markets around the world in order to gain further ground for U.S. dairy.”
“America’s dairy farmers are celebrating this bipartisan vote as a win. Under President Trump’s leadership, USTR and USDA negotiated an agreement that will deliver a more certain future for our dairy farmers and rural economy,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The U.S. must now remain diligent and proactively work with Canada and Mexico to implement USMCA in both letter and spirit. Full compliance is essential to achieving more fair trade with Canada and protecting American-made cheeses in Mexico.”
USMCA fundamentally changes Canada’s trade-distorting policies, reforms Canada’s controversial dairy pricing system and provides exclusive Canadian market access for U.S. farmers and manufacturers. According to the International Trade Commission, U.S. dairy exports are projected to increase by more than $314 million a year. USMCA also strengthens the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. and establishes new protections for products that rely on common cheese names, such as Parmesan and feta.
Source: National Milk Producers Federation
NCBA Hails Senate Ratification of USMCA
(NCBA) — National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate vote to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
“The ratification of USMCA is a crucial win for all U.S. beef producers and a reassurance that U.S. beef will continue to have unrestricted, duty-free access to Canada and Mexico. NCBA has been a strong supporter of USMCA since day one, and we believe that this vote sends a strong message to the rest of the world that the United States believes in free and fair trade. We are thankful to every Member of Congress in both House and Senate who voted for USMCA, and we thank President Trump for continuing to secure and defend strong market access for America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen.”
Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
RFA Lauds Senate Passage of USMCA
(RFA) — The Renewable Fuels Association thanked the U.S. Senate for passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a crucial trade pact that will benefit U.S. ethanol producers and rural economies across the nation. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:
“America’s ethanol producers look forward to seeing this important agreement in place. Canada and Mexico are among our most important and reliable export markets for both ethanol and distillers grains, and we look forward to strengthening our trading relationship with the two countries. USMCA is a good deal for the U.S. ethanol industry, the farmers who support us, and our industry’s partners in Canada and Mexico. We thank President Trump and Congress for getting this done.”
Cooper said that, in 2019, Canada ranked second for ethanol exports from the United States, purchasing an estimated 22 percent of U.S. ethanol exports, and ranked in the Top 10 for distillers grains. Canada has imported more ethanol from the United States since 2012 than any other country in the world. Click here for more information.
Mexico was the top export market for U.S. distillers grains in 2019, importing 19 percent of all U.S. exports, and ranked in the Top 10 for ethanol exports. Click here for more information.
Source: Renewable Fuels Association
NCGA Statement: Senate Passes USMCA
(NCGA) — National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross 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.”
Source: National Corn Growers Association
NPPC Applauds Senate for Overwhelmingly Approving USMCA
(NPPC) — The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which, once implemented, will provide much-needed certainty for U.S. pork producers.
“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.”
Source: National Pork Producers Council
NCC Praises Senate Passage of USMCA
(NCC) — National Chicken Council President Mike Brown issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate 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.
Source: National Chicken Council
Passage of USMCA is a Win for the U.S. Seed Industry
(ASTA) — The bipartisan passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is great news for the U.S. seed industry.
“Mexico and Canada are the two largest markets for U.S. seed, with 2018 exports combining for a total of $630 million,” said American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President & CEO Andrew LaVigne. “Today’s passage of USMCA provides much-need certainty as well as some key reforms to ensure continued open market access to these two critical trading partners.”
The USMCA will benefit the U.S. seed industry in a number of specific ways. The agreement provides key provisions to strengthen intellectual property rights, including the requirement that Mexico adopt UPOV 91 requirements. It recognizes the importance of plant breeding innovation, including newer methods like gene editing, by including language to enhance information exchange and cooperation around agricultural biotechnology trade issues.
Additionally, USMCA emphasizes the need for transparency and science-based approaches to phytosanitary measures, and includes a new consultation process to resolve disputes between countries in order to keep trade moving and reduce non-tariff barriers. The movement of seed globally for research, development and multiplication is critical for the introduction of new, high performing varieties to America’s farmers and consumers. Many American seed companies send seed stock to countries like Mexico for research and multiplication before it’s returned to the U.S. for further processing and packaging for American farmers or gardeners to purchase and plant.
“While these provisions do not immediately enter into force upon the signing of the agreement, they provide an important regulatory framework and set of commitments for cooperation between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada,” said LaVigne. “Trade is absolutely essential for the livelihood of American farmers and the U.S. economy at large, especially when it comes to our neighbors to the North and South, and we commend the Administration for their effort to improve this agreement.”
Source: American Seed Trade Association