Ag groups responded to the U.S., Mexico, and Canada signing the updated North American Free Trade Agreement, called the USMCA. Kevin Kester, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says “U.S. beef producers are one step closer to “unrestricted, science-based trade continuing in North America.” Kester says the agreement brings the trading relationship with U.S. neighbors into the 21st-century.
The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates say this is good news for wheat producers. Most notably, the USMCA gives tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for long-time flour-milling customers in Mexico. Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts says the signing marks an important step toward Congress considering the new agreement, which he’s looking forward to in the new year. U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the agreement secures greater access to the Mexican and Canadian markets and lowered barriers for many American products.
At the other end of the spectrum, the National Farmers Union says the USMCA does make important improvements over NAFTA. However, it doesn’t go far enough to institute a fair-trade framework that benefits family farmers and ranchers and restores U.S. sovereignty. NFU president Roger Johnson wants changes before Congress ratifies the agreement.