The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) on June 11 joined more than 950 organizations representing the U.S. food and agriculture industries to urge members of Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
NAMI’s members process the vast majority of U.S. beef, pork, lamb and poultry, as well as manufacture the equipment and ingredients needed to produce meat and poultry products.
In a letter sent to Congress, more than 950 groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels called on Congress to support the ratification of USMCA. The letter reiterates that 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.
“Canada and Mexico represent two of our most critical markets,” NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts said, “making up nearly 30 percent of beef exports and 40 percent of pork exports. Swift ratification of the USMCA would benefit American consumers and the meat and poultry industry while making a significant investment in our economy.”
Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA—growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018 and helping to support more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to neighboring countries, and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity, according to NAMI.
The International Trade Commission’s recent report on USMCA confirmed that the agreement will improve market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food producers, as well as positively impact both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.
One in four American manufacturing jobs are related to agriculture, and USMCA, once implemented, will strengthen the U.S. farm and agriculture economy and further support and secure vital market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses, NAMI says.