The following statement may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:
“Farm Bureau commends the House for approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It was a bipartisan effort as shown by the overwhelming 385 to 41 vote, and we appreciate the work of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle in getting this deal done.
“This trade agreement could not come at a more critical time for U.S. agriculture. Farmers and ranchers have been hit with a perfect storm of low commodity prices, weather disasters, trade disruptions and a severe downturn in the farm economy. The USMCA will provide continuity in the growth of the North American market and will strengthen our trading relationships with Canada and Mexico, which are our number-one and number-two export markets, respectively.
“We are hopeful that USMCA can be a model for future U.S. trade agreements, as these modernized rules will be a strong guide for addressing continuing issues. We urge the Senate to quickly approve the USMCA.”
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.