Photo: Office of the Speaker of the House

Dec 20, 2019
US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement advances

Industry groups are reacting to the passage of a trade bill.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, Dec. 19, voted 385-41 to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement will now go to the Senate for a vote.

USMCA will advance United States agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. Canada and Mexico are the first- and second-largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018, according to the office of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Here are some statements released by industry groups.

California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson:

“Farmers, ranchers and tens of thousands of Californians whose jobs hinge on agricultural exports will gain from the USMCA. We hope the Senate will approve the agreement early in the new year, so it can be implemented quickly.

“The USMCA will bring benefits throughout the food chain. Stronger ties with our North American neighbors will help California farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses. The agreement will also maintain and add jobs for people at ports, marketing companies, food processors, trucking firms and other businesses that help move California farm products to customers.

“Farmers and ranchers around California and throughout the country have visited their representatives and contacted them by phone and email, encouraging this result,” he said. “We will continue working to assure Senate ratification, so California sees the full benefits of the USMCA as soon as possible.”

Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President and CEO:

“With today’s strong vote by the House, we encourage the Senate to move forward with consideration of USMCA. For the fresh produce industry, this is a welcomed achievement as we continue to meet the demands from consumers for increased availability of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Finally, we believe this new trade agreement will strengthen our partnership between the three countries and provide essential cooperation in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue:

“I’ve long said that support for USMCA crosses political parties, the bipartisan passage of the agreement today is proof of that. I am pleased the House finally brought this agreement to a vote and encourage quick passage in the Senate. President Trump delivered on his promise to replace NAFTA and USMCA is a huge success for America’s farmers and ranchers. This agreement will unleash the bounty of America’s agricultural harvest to two of our largest trading partners in the world and it is critical to the success of rural America.”

Farmers for Free Trade:

“This is a bipartisan victory for American farmers who have been craving a return to certainty and stability on trade. USMCA continues duty-free access to Canada and Mexico which has been a bedrock of U.S. ag export growth for over 25 years. USMCA also provides important new wins including expanded market access for poultry and dairy; provisions that require science-based decision making on trade; and advances in supporting 21st-century agricultural innovations.
“Passage of this agreement in the House was not always certain, but thanks to the efforts of American farmers, USMCA will be implemented in 2020. Getting this agreement over the finish line required farmers and ranchers urging their representatives to work together in a way that’s increasingly rare. Farmers for Free Trade was proud to help facilitate hundreds of those conversations, including during our 20,000 mile, 30 state tour of America in support of USMCA. We applaud Speaker Pelosi and the White House for working together to broker this agreement that is in the best interests of America. We urge the Senate to now take quick action to also ratify this agreement.”

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