The status of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is being closely monitored by many in the agriculture industry as the deal awaits approval from Congress. The agreement is not only important for the agricultural sector, but the overall trade landscape for U.S. products going forward is also reliant on USMCA ratification.
A coalition of more than 960 American food and agriculture associations and companies representing the U.S. agricultural sector at the national, state and local level recently sent a letter to Congress requesting ratification. The letter was signed by several California companies and organization including the California Farm Bureau Federation, Western Growers, the California Association of Winegrape Growers, and Blue Diamond Almonds.
“USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices,” the letter states. “This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.”
A similar letter addressed to several U.S. Representatives was also recently sent by the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, and the International Dairy Foods Association. That letter addressed the positive impact USMCA would have on the dairy sector. The importance of USMCA ratification was also a significant point of discussion at a recent House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Hearing, “The State of U.S. Agricultural Products in International Markets.”
“Well, we just must get it done. I don’t even want to think about the alternative,” said U.S. Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney “We have got to get it passed. It’s the template by which we’re going to model so many other things. Not passage is just simply not an option in our point of view.”
“I would just simply add that we’ve got plans to move forward in a lot of different places in the world and if we don’t get USMCA done, it halts the entire trade agenda of the entire administration,” said Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.