On Jan. 16, the United States Senate voted 89-10 to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement will now go to the president, who is expected to sign it into law next week.
FMI welcomes passage of trilateral trade agreement
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) VP of Tax, Trade, Sustainability & Policy Development Andy Harig offered the following statement on the passage of the USMCA:
“Today’s passage of the USMCA ensures the close economic ties between the U.S., Canada and Mexico will continue to benefit American consumers and food retailers by lowering costs; broadening supply networks; improving eating quality; increasing assurance about food safety; and reducing product losses.
“Our expanded trade with Mexico and Canada has transformed grocery produce departments over the past thirty years. This transformation has taken place at the same time as new markets have opened and expanded for U.S. growers; so much so, that the United States food and agriculture economy now supports more than 22 million jobs and $152 billion in exports every year (according to Feeding the Economy).
“This trilateral trade agreement maintains and secures existing supply chains and will result in continued growth in U.S. food and beverage exports. FMI thanks House and Senate leadership for their efforts to pass legislation that benefits American jobs and consumers.”
ABA applauds passage of USMCA in Senate
The American Bakers Association (ABA) says it applauds the Senate’s passage of the USMCA.
“We applaud the Senate’s bipartisan passage of the USMCA today. This historic moment strengthens our ties with key trading partners, Canada and Mexico,” said Robb MacKie, president and CEO of the ABA.
“While we have concerns regarding footnote language targeting the baking industry for enhanced inspections, we are confident that our industry’s stellar workforce record will render those inspections moot,” said MacKie.
Over the last 25 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement has more than quadrupled U.S. food and agricultural exports to our trade partners. U.S. food and agricultural exports grew from $9 billion in 1993, to nearly $40 billion in 2018. The improvements made under the USMCA will help to further enhance the U.S. food and agricultural exports and deliver an additional 2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.
United Fresh supports U.S. Senate voting to pass USMCA
United Fresh Produce Association says Canada and Mexico are the two largest markets for fresh produce and their importance to American agriculture cannot be overstated.
“The produce industry is one of the cornerstones of the original NAFTA agreement and its continued success is vital for the economic well-being of all three countries. The USMCA includes important reforms that will ensure that the success of NAFTA will continue well into the 21st century,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh Produce Association. “The fresh produce industry is eager for the passage and implementation of the USMCA to ensure that the growth of trade over the last quarter century is sustained and that we build upon the investments made by businesses in all three countries. This agreement is most important as we continue to meet the demands from consumers for increased availability of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Finally, we believe this new trade agreement will strengthen our partnership between the three countries and provide essential cooperation in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.”
Soy growers approve of ratification of new North American Free Trade Deal
With passage through both congressional chambers, USMCA will now move to the president’s desk for signature. The American Soybean Association (ASA) says this final step will ensure soy growers maintain access to two of their top markets.
“ASA has worked throughout the year to encourage legislative support for USMCA, so we appreciate Congress working with the administration, coming together for this bipartisan effort, and getting USMCA to the final step,” said Bill Gordon. “In addition to securing the Mexican market as the second largest importer of U.S. soybeans, the terms agreed to by Canada will increase U.S. poultry and dairy exports, which is also a positive for our industry.”
Mexico is the No. 2 market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is the No. 4 buyer of meal and No. 7 buyer of oil for U.S. soybean farmers, making the trade agreement essential to sustaining the growth realized in those two countries under NAFTA. Under NAFTA, U.S. soybean sales to Mexico quadrupled and to Canada doubled.
Gordon said, “We express our gratitude to Congress for making USMCA passage a priority, as it means we can start 2020 on a more positive note.”