Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada Goes Into Effect

A press release from the United States Department of Agriculture announced that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force on Wednesday. The trade agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement and addresses issues with trade to Canada and Mexico, the largest export markets for American agricultural products.

“USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. He called the agreement a “huge win for U.S. agriculture.”

The agreement, intended to support the interests of American farmers and agribusinesses, was signed into law on January 29. The press release said it had “overwhelming bipartisan support” in Congress. The USDA said exports to Canada and Mexico support over 325,000 jobs for Americans.

“This high-standard agreement builds upon our existing markets to expand U.S. food and agricultural exports and support food processing and rural jobs,” the press release states. The USMCA addresses agricultural biotechnology and supports innovations in gene editing and other technologies.

The agreement is meant to expand opportunities for dairy and poultry trade from the United States to Canada. Canada agreed to end its wheat grading system and milk pricing programs to allow American producers to compete in the markets. The agreement also will eliminate technical barriers to selling wine and distilled spirits between the three countries. 

“The implementation of this deal sends a strong signal to other important export markets such as the United Kingdom and the European Union that President Trump and Congress are serious about pursuing and enacting future agreements that create better economic opportunities for all parties involved. The United States is open for business, and our farmers are ready to export more of their wholesome and nutritious products to consumers around the world,” Perdue said in an opinion editorial in the Fayetteville Observer.