It’s time for Congress to pass legislation to enact the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement and bring home a “win” for Nebraska agriculture. That’s the message relayed by Nebraska leaders who gathered to call for USMCA passage at Husker Harvest Days, Wed., Sept. 11. The Trump administration has negotiated a trade deal with the two countries, but Congress must act for the provisions of the agreement to go into effect.
The group said the USMCA deal is critical to Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers, and the State’s economy, because purchases by Mexico and Canada account for more than 21 percent of Nebraska’s total agriculture exports. The relationship with the two countries is important, they agreed, since agriculture trade with the two nations supports nearly 54,000 Nebraska jobs.
The USMCA would replace the more than 20-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The new deal would maintain market access for Nebraska commodities like corn, soybeans, beef, and pork, while improving access for Nebraska wheat and dairy products. Negotiators say it also updates the former agreement to address agriculture biotechnology to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies. In addition, USMCA creates a more rigorous process for establishing trade distorting geological indicators for agriculture products and strengthens science-based measures to protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.
With members of Congress returning from the August recess, the Nebraska leaders urged swift action to secure the USMCA deal.
BACKGROUND: Trade Deal Draws Praise From NE Ag. Group