Although the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) still needs to be ratified by the required legislative bodies, the U.S. rice industry stands ready to reap the benefits of the agreement. “Mexico is the largest market for U.S. rice, and Canada is about third or fourth on the list depending on the year,” said President and CEO of American Commodity Company, Chris Crutchfield. “So, the conclusion of an agreement is very positive news.”
It has been a difficult year for international trade relationships and there is hope that any damage done to current markets can be repaired and improved upon. “On the Mexican side of things, they have been looking to alternative sources when the current administration looked to renegotiate the NAFTA deal. So, that’s where a lot of the rice that’s grown in the South goes is into Mexico,” Crutchfield.
The Trump Administration is reported to be considering the cancellation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before USMCA is officially ratified. If that happens Congress will have a hard deadline of six months to approve the agreement before tariffs increase on approximately $1.3 trillion in trade goods between the three countries.