USMCA touted as big win for American agriculture

The USMCA is now in full effect. It replaces the decades old North America Free Trade Agreement.

According to the USDA, Canada and Mexico were our top two trading partners in 2019. They also say that the USMCA contains significant improvements to rules of origin, ag market access, and labor issues. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Monica Crowley believes that those improvements will have a very positive impact on our farmers and ranchers.

“President Trump promised that he would scrap NAFTA, which was a horrendous trade deal, particularly for our nation’s farmers... He promised to scrap that and replace it with a modernized, strengthened, and rebalanced trade deal with our North American trading partners and made it a specific priority to take care of American farmers,” she said.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is expected to help all sectors of ag but specifically wheat, poultry, and dairy. Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, the current CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, says that this new deal should be a boost to dairy if Canada holds up its end of the bargain.

The agreement calls for Canada to treat wheat imports the same as domestic wheat for grading purposes. Mexico has also agreed that all grading standards for ag products will be non-discriminatory. The agreement also enhances science-based trading standards among the three nations.

“What this deal is going to do is allow for expanded market access for our nation’s farmers... but also alcoholic beverages, automotive,” Crowley said. “All of these incentives are going to be built in to keep American manufacturing, farming here in the United States, but allow this expanded access so that our farmers do have this greater access to both the Canadian and the Mexican market.”