The Midwest Food Products Association (MWFPA) joined 66 agricultural organizations and business groups in urging Congress to ratify the trade deal which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) has been signed by all three participating countries, but still has yet to be ratified by Congress.
“Canada and Mexico account for over $45 billion in U.S. agriculture exports and support more than one million American jobs. In order to build upon that success, Congress must pass USMCA,” states the letter to congressional leadership.
MWFPA and the other agricultural and business groups noted that the International Trade Commission’s recent report on the impact of the agreement on the U.S. economy and specific industry sectors “would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors . . . and a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector.” The letter goes on to state that the “new agreement includes important improvements that will enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of American agricultural products to our North American partners.”
The ITF report was part of a procedural step that cleared the way for Congress to take up debate on ratification of the deal. However, leaders of both parties in Congress have been pushing the Trump administration with specific demands in exchange for supporting USMCA.
Democrats have already highlighted a number of concerns over the new agreement, particularly with regard to labor enforcement. Early in the NAFTA renegotiation process, President Trump placed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has called on Trump to lift the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, stating that if they aren’t lifted, USMCA is dead. MWFPA supports the lifting of these tariffs.