Tag Archives: Mexico

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said Tuesday that the split Congress has the votes to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.

“It would give us a great step forward,” Donohue told CNBC, adding that Congress has “enough votes to do it right now.”

Donohue told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on July 25 that the USMCA would be “fixed by the September timeframe” and would have Democrats on board.

“There’s very good spirit between the people that are doing it because this is an unbelievable agreement,” Donohue said, adding that “it’s $4 billion a day of trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico – they are our largest trading partners.”

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse is also putting pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

A few weeks earlier, White House adviser Marc Short told FOX Business that he is optimistic the deal will come together.

“We think that it has the votes,” Short told Maria Bartiromo on July 11. “The reality is that there are 31 congressional Democrats residing in districts that Donald Trump won in 2016. But more importantly, those are districts that create an enormous number of manufacturing jobs in the auto industry or agriculture jobs because we’ve now provided … additional access to dairy farms in Wisconsin, in Minnesota.”

Both chambers of Congress will be back in session in September after the August recess.

Ironically, Mexico ratified the deal in June, while the U.S. Congress has not passed the agreement that President Trump has often touted.

“It means foreign investment in Mexico, it means jobs in Mexico, it means guaranteeing trade of the merchandise that we produce in the United States,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at the time of ratification.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Farm Bureau published a video of farmers touting the USMCA to the tune of the hit song “YMCA” on Aug. 30.

“Nancy, we know you’re the woman who can get this deal through Congress,” the farmers chant.

The latest tomato agreement with Mexico shows the United States can work out trade disputes without resorting to tariffs and underscores the need to ratify the USMCA, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.

 

“We are pleased and relieved to see progress with one of our largest and most important trading partners,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Mexico is a vital trading partner for American farmers and ranchers. We need this agreement and are grateful negotiators capitalized on the close relationship that exists between our two nations. We look forward to more progress on the trade front and are counting the days until the USMCA becomes law.”

 

Among other things, the tomato deal lifts current preliminary duties of 17.5% against Mexican tomatoes and suspends an anti-dumping investigation against Mexican producers begun earlier this year. The agreement also reinstates reference prices for various kinds of tomatoes to assure fairer pricing by Mexican competitors. The agreement is expected to take effect September 19, 2019 following a 30-day comment period.

 

All parties, including growers, back today’s agreement.

Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), testified before the Senate Finance Committee and urged Congress to swiftly ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

In addition to locking in a zero-tariff relationship with Mexico and increasing market access to Canada, USMCA also reforms Canadian pricing practices and addresses other nontariff barriers, like geographic indication requirements, that threaten U.S. sales. All told, USMCA will provide a $314 million-a-year boost to the dairy industry, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“Speaker Pelosi and Ambassador Lighthizer are working closely together to address any outstanding concerns surrounding the implementation of USMCA,” he added. “I encourage the Senate to play a constructive role in these talks in order to produce a final agreement that can be quickly passed and signed.”

A group of 14 Democrats sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to bring a vote by the end of the year on USMCA. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has reportedly told colleagues that Speaker Pelosi has committed to a vote on the revised NAFTA trade deal by October, according to Axios and as reported by Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer’s Washington analyst. Speaker Pelosi denies that commitment. The Trump administration, Axios reported, asked Pelosi to allow a vote on the USMCA as a side agreement to the budget deal, but she refused to put anything in writing.

In June, USDEC and 34 of its members signed a letter alongside nearly 1,000 farm organizations and rural businesses asking Congress to approve USMCA. One of those organizations, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), echoed support for Vilsack’s comments and urgency to bring USMCA to a vote.

“As Secretary Vilsack testified, USMCA delivers key wins for America’s dairy farmers and the exports that drive stronger sales. With USMCA, dairy farmers will see more export opportunities and greater trade certainty. Without USMCA, we lose out on $314 million in additional dairy exports. We also lose the benefit of the new rules this deal puts in place, such as key reforms to Canada’s dairy system and stronger safeguards for our cheese exports to Mexico,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO in a statement.

“We commend the Senate for spotlighting USMCA’s importance and strongly support the testimony offered by USDEC on how the agreement benefits dairy. To usher in USMCA’s improvements for dairy farmers and build momentum for additional trade agreements with key markets like Japan, we urge swift action to resolve any outstanding issues and secure approval of USMCA.”