On my first day as Secretary of Agriculture, President Trump promised he’d fight for better deals for American farmers. That is why the president renegotiated the decades-old NAFTA and modernized it into a better deal for America’s farmers, consumers and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come.
While we all know it’s been a challenging few months as the American people and the entire world have been disrupted by the coronavirus, today the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) officially goes into effect. We are shown once again that President Trump has the backs of America’s farmers and thank him on the delivery of this much better deal.
America is located in the greatest neighborhood on earth, with Canada and Mexico as some of our top trading partners. In 2019, our nation exported more than $40 billion worth of agricultural products to Canada and Mexico, including billions of dollars’ worth of corn, soybeans, pork, beef and processed foods, as well as agricultural heavy equipment. USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.
USMCA helps all of America’s diverse agricultural industries. This new and improved deal secures greater access to markets and lowers barriers for our agricultural products. American dairy producers will have increased access to Canada’s highly protected milk market.
USMCA eliminates Canada’s unfair Class 7 milk pricing scheme that was creatively developed to allow unfairly low-priced Canadian dairy products to undersell U.S. products in Canada and in third-country markets. United States poultry and egg producers will also see expanded access to Canada’s market, directly benefiting American producers in states like Iowa, Georgia, Arkansas and California.
USMCA benefits don’t stop at dairy and poultry. It includes rules to address all agricultural biotechnology, including gene editing, in support of 21st century innovations in agriculture. The agreement also improves the flow of trade with new and enforceable rules to ensure that sanitary and phytosanitary measures to protect human, animal, or plant life or health are science-based and transparent.
USMCA also updates the rules of origin for processed fruits to ensure preferences benefit U.S. producers. Most importantly, the new agreement maintains the tariff-free access for nearly all U.S. agricultural commodities shipped into Mexico and Canada, providing America’s farmers and ranchers continued market access. The United States is standing for modern trade policies, bringing our trading relationships into the 21st century.
President Trump is laying the foundation for a stronger farm economy through USMCA and other fair-trade deals. When President Trump first promised to re-negotiate NAFTA, the universal hue and cry from agriculture was “do no harm.” Not only has he done no harm, but USMCA is a better agreement than NAFTA on almost every front.
The implementation of this deal sends a strong signal to other important export markets such as the United Kingdom and the European Union that President Trump and Congress are serious about pursuing and enacting future agreements that create better economic opportunities for all parties involved. The United States is open for business, and our farmers are ready to export more of their wholesome and nutritious products to consumers around the world. I thank President Trump for successfully renegotiating and updating this dusty trade agreement and setting the stage for Americans to succeed and grow our economy for years to come.