American Farm Bureau Federation welcomes USMCA taking effect

USMCA Signing

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement officially went into effect July 1.

The agreement is expected to add $2 billion to U.S. agricultural exports annually and increase the GDP overall by $65 billion. The trade agreement begins at a time producers need relief because of COVID-19.

“The launch of the USMCA brings optimism to the country’s farmers and ranchers at a time they need it the most,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to build on the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and we’re eager to see the results on America’s farms. It’s important that our neighbors uphold their end of the deal, so the agreement provides a stabilizing force amid the unpredictability of a pandemic in all three countries.”

Under the agreement, Canada, America’s second largest trading partner, will increase quotas of U.S. dairy products. Canada will also treat wheat imports the same as domestic wheat for grading purposes. Under USMCA, Mexico will have non-discriminatory grading standards on agriculture products. Mexico is America’s third-largest trading partner.

Although there is positivity surrounding the deal taking effect, it it is not a “magic bullet,” according to the Farm Bureau.

“As with all trade agreements, there are some areas that still need attention,” said Duvall. “We will continue to work with the administration to level the playing field for fruit and vegetable growers facing increased competition from Mexico.”