USMCA

U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, right, shakes hands with President Donald Trump following the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Wednesday. 

U.S. President Donald Trump signed the United States-Mexico Canada Agreement Wednesday morning, a trade agreement that is expected to help Kansas and Dickinson County farmers and ranchers.

“This signing represents the continued work being done by the Trump administration on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and small business owners,” said U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend). “This marks yet another major promise kept by this President and a huge step forward in fairer and more reciprocal trade between these three countries. This agreement will bring long-term stability for Kansas agriculture, and not to mention, millions of dollars in new trade opportunities that will result in thousands of Kansas jobs.”

The U.S. exported a combined $4 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018 alone. The USMCA trade agreement will result in more than $68 billion in new economic activity, stability, and certainty for America’s agriculture producers and small business owners. This 21st century agreement will also set a new standard for all future multi-lateral trade agreements.

“I was proud to stand by a president who just delivered BIG on behalf of hard-working Kansans,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the signing was “A good day for American agriculture.

“Throughout this process, there were many detractors who said it couldn’t be done. But this is further proof that President Trump’s trade negotiation strategy is working. This agreement shows the rest of the world the United States is open for business. USMCA is critical for America’s farmers and ranchers, who will now have even more market access to our neighbors to the north and the south. I am excited to see the economic benefits of this agreement increase the prosperity of all Americans, especially those living in rural America,” said Secretary Perdue.

Background

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 the 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.

According to USGA, key provisions include:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Poultry and eggs

• U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey and eggs.

Wheat

• Canada agrees to terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system, enabling U.S. growers to be more competitive.

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.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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