A recent Canada trade mission highlighted the importance of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as potential trade partners met to foster business relationships. U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney led the trip which included more than 40 agribusinesses and associations. Speaking from Montreal, McKinney highlighted the role that USMCA has played during the course of the trip.
“So USMCA, with this new relationship that we’re looking forward to, is very much a part of this,” said McKinney. “Are there new customers that we can find up here, and are there customers in the U.S. that the Canadians can find down there? So, this two-way street is very much a theme that we’re following.”
The trade mission was described by McKinney as having an atmosphere of appreciation and understanding, noting that USMCA reinforces the “close and reliable market for U.S. food and products.” The terms of the new trade deal have been agreed to by all the parties involved, however, the agreement has still yet to be ratified in either the U.S. or Canada. There is still some disagreement within Congress regarding some of the particulars of USMCA, but McKinney believes that the deal should be put into place relatively soon.
“USMCA or some would call it NAFTA 2.0, we hope is coming in for a good safe landing,” said McKinney. “Mexico has already passed USMCA, the U.S. is working on it we think, and Canada has reassured me again that they intend to take it up and pass it shortly after the U.S. does.”
There was a total of ten groups representing California interests on the Canada trade mission including the California Prune Board, Simonian Fruit Company, the California Strawberry Commission, the Raisin Administrative Committee, and the California Pear Advisory Board. McKinney noted that the trip to Canada included a total of 53 delegates and was one of seven similar trade missions that were scheduled for the year.