Industry Groups Celebrate Agreement on USMCA

Key players in finalizing a trade deal with Canada and Mexico reached an agreement last week that is being celebrated as bringing much-needed certainty to trade relationships among these North American neighbors.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is awaiting approval in Congress, likely later this week. The pact is expected to usher in tangible benefits for agriculture, technology, manufacturing and other business sectors, industry analysts say.

In 2018, Mexico and Canada were the two biggest buyers of U.S. farm goods, representing $40 billion in sales.

The USMCA is expected to increase annual U.S. agricultural and food exports by $2.2 billion, or 1.1 percent, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. That comes from small increases of U.S. dairy, poultry, wheat and alcohol exports to Canada.

More sugar and products with sugar would come to the U.S. from Canada.

Nick Giordano, head of government affairs for the National Pork Producers Council, said completing the USMCA would help hog farmers recover after Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs trimmed an average of $12 from the price of each hog sold in the U.S. in 2018.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, urged members of the U.S. Congress to act swiftly.

“Agriculture is at a critical crossroads with the downturn in commodity prices, losses from natural disasters and the trade war,” Duvall said. “This is an opportunity for Congress not only to help U.S. farmers and ranchers turn the corner on trade, but also show that Washington can still get things done on a bipartisan basis.”