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OPINION

American Farm Bureau: USMCA is a welcome start to 2020

Zippy Duvall
American Farm Bureau Federation President
Zippy Duvall

“We are now one step away from unleashing the competitiveness of America’s farmers and ranchers with our two largest trading partners thanks to today’s Senate Finance Committee vote, said . The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will protect our valuable trade relationships with our nearest neighbors and return certainty to our markets. We urge immediate approval by the full Senate to deliver a much-needed win for agriculture. 

“The challenges farmers and ranchers faced in 2019 are no secret, but it’s a new year and we are eager for new opportunities to compete, building on the progress with Japan and the pending announcement of a new China agreement.

“We hope the USMCA will be a model for future U.S. trade agreements as the administration pursues a level playing field around the globe for our farmers and ranchers.”

USMCA BACKGROUND

Designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, the USMCA builds on important trade relationships in North America.

• The agreement is expected to increase U.S. ag exports by $2 billion and result in a $65 billion increase in gross domestic product.

• The agreement will provide new market access for American dairy and poultry products while preserving the zero-tariff platform on all other ag products.

• In particular, the agreement gives U.S. dairy products access to an additional 3.6% of Canada’s dairy market – even better than what was proposed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

• U.S. wheat will receive fairer treatment, thanks to Canada’s agreement to grade our wheat no less favorably than its own.

• Mexico and the United States have also agreed that all grading standards for ag products will be non-discriminatory.

• Additional provisions enhance science-based trading standards among the three nations as the basis for sanitary and phytosanitary measures for ag products, as well as progress in the area of geographic indications.

• The agreement also includes measures that address cooperation, information sharing and other trade rules among the three nations related to agricultural biotechnology and gene editing.