Yesterday we reported that many agricultural groups were pleased with the signing of the phase-one trade agreement between the United States and China. Today, the trade news continues as the U.S. Senate has passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a vote of 89-10. Many agricultural groups also cheered that news.
Secretary Perdue Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA
(USDA) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after the Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a bipartisan vote of 89–10.
“We’ve long waited for this day, and now USMCA will finally head to the President’s desk,” Secretary Perdue said. “The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. With Congressional consideration now complete, our farmers and ranchers are eager to see the President sign this legislation and begin reaping the benefits of this critical agreement. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for successfully delivering an improved and modern trade agreement and working so hard for the people of American agriculture to get this deal across the finish line.”
USMCA will advance United States agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers,, and agribusinesses. This high-standard agreement builds upon our existing markets to expand United States food and agricultural exports and support food processing and rural jobs.
Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports support more than 325,000 American jobs.
All food and agricultural products that have zero tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will remain at zero tariffs. Since the original NAFTA did not eliminate all tariffs on agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, the USMCA will create new market access opportunities for United States exports to Canada of dairy, poultry and eggs, and in exchange the United States will provide new access to Canada for some dairy, peanut and a limited amount of sugar and sugar-containing products.
Earlier this year, nearly 1,000 American food and agriculture associations and companies announced their support for USMCA and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture signed a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to ratify USMCA.
In September, all former U.S. secretaries of agriculture since President Reagan’s Administration announced support for USMCA. In a letter to Congressional leaders (PDF, 86.0 KB), former Secretaries John Block (Reagan), Mike Espy (Clinton), Dan Glickman (Clinton), Ann Veneman (W. Bush), Mike Johanns (W. Bush), Ed Shafer (W. Bush) and Tom Vilsack (Obama) underscored the importance of passing USMCA saying, “We need a strong and reliable trade deal with our top two customers for U.S. agriculture products. USMCA will provide certainty in the North American market for the U.S. farm sector and rural economy. We strongly support ratification of USMCA.”
Key Provision: Increasing Dairy Market Access
- America’s dairy farmers will have expanded market opportunities in Canada for a wide variety of dairy products. Canada agreed to eliminate the unfair Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs that allowed their farmers to undersell U.S. producers.
Key Provision: Biotechnology
- For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology – including new technologies such as gene editing – to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies.
Key Provision: Geographical Indications
- The agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators and lays out additional factors to be considered in determining whether a term is a common name.
Key Provision: Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures
- The three countries agree to strengthen disciplines for science-based measures that protect human, animal and plant health while improving the flow of trade.
Key Provision: Poultry and Eggs
- U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey and eggs.
Key Provision: Wheat
- Canada agrees to terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system, enabling U.S. growers to be more competitive.
Key Provision: Wine and Spirits
- The three countries agree to avoid technical barriers to trade through non-discrimination and transparency regarding sale, distribution, labeling and certification of wine and distilled spirits.
Farmers Applaud USMCA Passage In Senate
(ALFA) — For the second time in as many days, Alabama farmers received good news on the trade front as the U.S. Senate approved the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a vote of 89-10.
Passage of the deal, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), comes on the heels of President Donald J. Trump signing the first phase of a China trade agreement Wednesday. The USMCA legislation passed the House of Representatives last month by a 385-41 vote. It now goes to President Trump for his signature.
“Canada and Mexico now rank as our two largest export markets, accounting for more than $40 billion in value,” said Alabama Farmers Federation Governmental and Agricultural Programs Department Assistant Director Mitt Walker. “Exports to these two countries support about 900,000 American jobs in the food, agriculture and related sectors of the economy. This agreement not only preserves our partnership with these neighbors but will also be a catalyst for securing stronger trade deals with other countries around the world.”
The USMCA will provide new market access for dairy and poultry products and will result in fair grading standards for U.S. wheat exported to Canada, according to Walker. The deal also addresses agricultural biotechnology to support 21st century innovations, including new technologies such as gene editing.
“We believe passage of USMCA will result in even more marketing opportunities for Alabama farmers around the globe,” Walker said.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall also praised passage of the agreement.
“Today’s passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers,” he said. “We commend President Trump, the House and the Senate for working together in a bipartisan manner to enhance these important trade relationships and help jumpstart our ag economy.”
Trump is set to speak at the AFBF Annual Convention for the third year in a row on Sunday.
Source: Alabama Farmers Federation
Agricultural Retailers Association Applauds Final Passage of USMCA
(ARA) — The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) applauds today’s final passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock released the following statement:
“We applaud the efforts by the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill for delivering this historic trade agreement to the finish line. This agreement will advance the relationship between two of the most important markets for American farmers and agribusinesses.
“Agricultural retailers and their farmer customers will directly benefit from the expanded market access and the preserved zero-tariff platforms among ag products, which is a relief during a challenging time in the ag economy.
“We thank our membership for its dedication to grassroots advocacy throughout the USMCA’s journey. Their dedicated advocacy, joined with the voices of so many other Americans, has paid off.”
ARA encourages members and agricultural retailers to sign up for grassroots alerts from ARA to stay informed on issues impacting their businesses.
Source: Agriculture Retailers Association
U.S. Dairy Industry Praises Administration and Congress for Final Passage of USMCA
(NMPF) — The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) cheered today’s Senate vote paving the way for the President’s signature of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Looking ahead, USDEC and NMPF urged U.S. officials to carefully monitor Canada and Mexico’s USMCA commitments once the trade deal takes effect to ensure its provisions are enforced accordingly so that the dairy industry is able to reap the full benefits of the agreement negotiated by Ambassador Lighthizer and the negotiating teams at USTR and USDA.
“USMCA makes important strides to break down trade barriers, opening the door to new opportunities and supporting the flow of high-quality American dairy products to two valuable export markets,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. “The strong enforcement measures included in the final agreement give officials the tools necessary to hold our trade partners accountable and ensure the gains secured by USMCA are completely realized. We are grateful to the administration for the sizable accomplishments secured in USMCA on dairy. With this trade deal complete, negotiators can now turn their attention to other key markets around the world in order to gain further ground for U.S. dairy.”
“America’s dairy farmers are celebrating today’s bipartisan vote as a win. Under President Trump’s leadership, USTR and USDA negotiated an agreement that will deliver a more certain future for our dairy farmers and rural economy,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The U.S. must now remain diligent and proactively work with Canada and Mexico to implement USMCA in both letter and spirit. Full compliance is essential to achieving more fair trade with Canada and protecting American-made cheeses in Mexico.”
USMCA fundamentally changes Canada’s trade-distorting policies, reforms Canada’s controversial dairy pricing system and provides exclusive Canadian market access for U.S. farmers and manufacturers. According to the International Trade Commission, U.S. dairy exports are projected to increase by more than $314 million a year. USMCA also strengthens the relationship between Mexico and the United States and establishes new protections for products that rely on common cheese names, such as Parmesan and feta.
Source: National Milk Producers Federation
NCBA Hails Senate Ratification of USMCA
(NCBA) — National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate vote to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
“The ratification of USMCA is a crucial win for all U.S. beef producers and a reassurance that U.S. beef will continue to have unrestricted, duty-free access to Canada and Mexico. NCBA has been a strong supporter of USMCA since day one, and we believe that today’s vote sends a strong message to the rest of the world that the United States believes in free and fair trade. We are thankful to every member of Congress in both the House and Senate who voted for USMCA, and we thank President Trump for continuing to secure and defend strong market access for America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen.”
Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Renewable Fuels Association Lauds Senate Passage of USMCA
(RFA) — The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today thanked the U.S. Senate for passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a crucial trade pact that will benefit U.S. ethanol producers and rural economies across the nation. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:
“America’s ethanol producers look forward to seeing this important agreement in place. Canada and Mexico are among our most important and reliable export markets for both ethanol and distillers grains, and we look forward to strengthening our trading relationship with the two countries. USMCA is a good deal for the U.S. ethanol industry, the farmers who support us, and our industry’s partners in Canada and Mexico. We thank President Trump and Congress for getting this done.”
Cooper said that, in 2019, Canada ranked second for ethanol exports from the United States, purchasing an estimated 22 percent of U.S. ethanol exports, and ranked in the Top 10 for distillers grains. Canada has imported more ethanol from the United States since 2012 than any other country in the world. Click here for more information.
Mexico was the top export market for U.S. distillers grains in 2019, importing 19 percent of all U.S. exports, and ranked in the Top 10 for ethanol exports. Click here for more information.
Source: Renewable Fuels Association
U.S.-Mexico-Canada Reunited by USMCA!
Ratification of New North American Free Trade Deal Feels Good for Soy Growers
(ASA) — Soy growers, other agriculture and business groups have rallied collectively for months to urge Congress to pass the “new NAFTA.” Today, on Jan.16, it happened! The American Soybean Association (ASA) expresses its strong appreciation to Senate leaders for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a overwhelming 89-10 vote. With passage through both congressional chambers, USMCA will now move to the president’s desk for signature. 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 #2 market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is the #4 buyer of meal and #7 buyer of oil for U.S. soybean farmers, making the trade agreement essential to sustaining the growth realized in those two countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under NAFTA, U.S. soybean sales to Mexico quadrupled and to Canada doubled.
Gordon concluded, “We express our gratitude to Congress for making USMCA passage a priority, as it means we can start 2020 on a more positive note.”
Source: American Soybean Association
Rubio Statement on Passage of USMCA
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement after the Senate approved H.R. 5430, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (USMCA):
“The USMCA makes important changes that will strengthen American workers and deepen ties with our neighbors, all while defending and expanding opportunities for dignified work in our country,” Rubio said. “The deal is also an important victory for Floridians, taking significant steps to facilitate our state’s trade-based economic growth, particularly among our 3.4 million small businesses, who will benefit from new provisions specifically aimed at assisting them.
“However, no trade deal is perfect, and while many American farmers and ranchers are celebrating, Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers were once again left to fend for themselves,” Rubio continued. “Florida growers deserve an effective, enforceable and durable solution to the problems NAFTA helped impose. While the USMCA will not improve their situation, I remain confident that this administration will continue to look for ways to address significant price distortions in the domestic seasonal and perishable produce market caused by a rising tide of unfair import competition.”
Rubio is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
RUBIO SOBRE LA APROBACIÓN DEL T-MEC
El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) emitió el siguiente comunicado tras la aprobación en el senado del H.R. 5430, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (USMCA, por sus siglas en inglés):
“El T-MEC hace cambios importantes que fortalecerán a los trabajadores estadounidenses y profundizará los lazos con nuestros vecinos, todo mientras defiende y amplía las oportunidades para un trabajo digno en nuestro país”, Rubio dijo. “El acuerdo también es una victoria importante para los floridanos, tomando medidas significativas para facilitar el crecimiento económico en temas de comercio en nuestro estado, particularmente entre nuestras 3.4 millones de pequeñas empresas, las cuales se beneficiarán de nuevas disposiciones destinadas a ayudarlos.
“Sin embargo, ningún acuerdo comercial es perfecto, y mientras muchos agricultores y ganaderos estadounidenses están celebrando, los productores de frutas y verduras de la Florida tuvieron que defenderse ellos mismos”, continuó Rubio. “Los productores de la Florida merecen una solución efectiva y duradera a los problemas que el TLCAN impuso. Si bien, el T-MEC no mejorará su situación, sigo confiado en que esta administración continuará buscando formas de abordar las distorsiones de precios en el mercado nacional de productos de temporada y productos perecederos causados por la creciente de competencia desleal en temas de importación “.
Rubio es el presidente del Subcomité de Relaciones Exteriores para el Hemisferio Occidental, Delincuencia Transnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Globales de la Mujer.
Source: Office of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
National Corn Growers Association Statement: Senate Passes USMCA
(NCGA) — National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Ross thanked members of the U.S. Senate for their bipartisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Ross made the following statement:
“Nearly a year ago, NCGA’s farmer members, recognizing the importance of our trading relationship with Mexico and Canada, declared passage of USMCA their top legislative priority. Since that time, corn farmers have been using every opportunity to urge members of Congress to support the new trade agreement and we are incredibly thankful for the strong bipartisan support it has received in the Senate today.
“NCGA thanks the U.S. Senators who voted to ensure corn farmers will continue to have access to our largest and most reliable markets and is especially grateful for the leadership of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who has been a steadfast supporter of corn growers and committed to getting USMCA across the finish line.”
Source: National Corn Growers Association
National Pork Producers Council Applauds Senate for Overwhelmingly Approving USMCA
(NPPC) — The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which, once implemented, will provide much-needed certainty for U.S. pork producers.
“Ratification of USMCA has been a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), and we thank members of the Senate who supported this critical trade deal,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, North Carolina. “USMCA provides U.S. pork producers with certainty in two of our largest export markets. It received strong support in both chambers of Congress, and we look forward to seeing President Trump sign it into law.”
In 2018, Canada and Mexico took more than 40 percent of the pork that was exported from the United States and a similar volume is expected in 2019. U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico support 16,000 U.S. jobs.
“We also appreciate the administration’s work to establish a phase-one trade agreement with China,” added Herring. “We urge China to eliminate all restrictions on U.S. pork exports at a time when they are struggling with food price inflation and need reliable, affordable sources of pork. Doing so would more than double annual U.S. pork sales, generate 184,000 new American jobs and reduce the overall trade deficit with China by nearly 6 percent, all within the next decade.”
Source: National Pork Producers Council
National Chicken Council Praises Senate Passage of USMCA
(NCC) — National Chicken Council President Mike Brown issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by an 89-10 vote:
“The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s chicken producers,” Brown said. “USMCA will maintain or improve market access for chicken exports in our top two valued markets – Mexico and Canada. It will also positively impact both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.
“I want to thank President Trump for his leadership and for the tireless work of the administration, including Agriculture Secretary Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer. We look forward to President Trump’s signature as early as today.”
The House of Representatives passed the bill on Dec. 19, 2019, by a 385-41 vote. Mexico passed the agreement on Dec. 12, 2019. Canada has yet to vote on the agreement, but the House of Commons returns on Jan. 27 and is expected to approve the agreement soon after.
In 2018, the last full year data is available, Mexico was a $517 million market for U.S. chicken exports, with Canada totaling $352 million.
Source: National Chicken Council
Passage of USMCA is a Win for the U.S. Seed Industry
(ASTA) — The bipartisan passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is great news for the U.S. seed industry.
“Mexico and Canada are the two largest markets for U.S. seed, with 2018 exports combining for a total of $630 million,” said American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President and CEO Andrew LaVigne. “Today’s passage of USMCA provides much-need certainty as well as some key reforms to ensure continued open market access to these two critical trading partners.”
The USMCA will benefit the U.S. seed industry in a number of specific ways. The agreement provides key provisions to strengthen intellectual property rights, including the requirement that Mexico adopt UPOV 91 requirements. It recognizes the importance of plant breeding innovation, including newer methods like gene editing, by including language to enhance information exchange and cooperation around agricultural biotechnology trade issues.
Additionally, USMCA emphasizes the need for transparency and science-based approaches to phytosanitary measures, and includes a new consultation process to resolve disputes between countries in order to keep trade moving and reduce non-tariff barriers. The movement of seed globally for research, development and multiplication is critical for the introduction of new, high-performing varieties to America’s farmers and consumers. Many American seed companies send seed stock to countries like Mexico for research and multiplication before it’s returned to the U.S. for further processing and packaging for American farmers or gardeners to purchase and plant.
“While these provisions do not immediately enter into force upon the signing of the agreement, they provide an important regulatory framework and set of commitments for cooperation between the U.S., Mexico and Canada,” said LaVigne. “Trade is absolutely essential for the livelihood of American farmers and the U.S. economy at large, especially when it comes to our neighbors to the North and South, and we commend the administration for their effort to improve this agreement.”
Source: American Seed Trade Association