YAP, AgriPOWER DC Trip 2019

Farm Bureau asks for swift USMCA approval

Media outlets are reporting today that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said an agreement has been reached on USMCA and “We could as early as next week see the agreement on the House floor,” according to Jack Irvin, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of state and national affairs

“I’m not going to pretend like I’m not a little bit surprised, but very pleasantly surprised. And we’re going to keep pushing and see we get this thing done,” he said.

What is 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.

Statement from American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall:

“We urge members of Congress to swiftly approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Agriculture is at a critical crossroads with the downturn in commodity prices, losses from natural disasters and the trade war. 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.

Ratification of the USMCA would build on the momentum of the U.S.-Japan agreement, which gave a major boost to American agricultural products in our fourth-largest market, and send a signal that the U.S. is back in business in the international marketplace.

We urge Congress to work toward speedy approval. America’s farms and ranches are depending on you.”