USMCA Trade Agreement
In May an agreement was reached to end tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada and Mexico. Just prior to the announcement, Cook County Farm Bureau® sent the following letter supporting the USMCA trade agreement and U.S. closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico:
We, the undersigned organizations, representing all segments of the U.S. food value chain at the national, state and local levels, write to urge your strong support for immediate ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA will benefit all aspects of the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.
Over the last 27 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.
The International Trade Commission’s new report, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and Specific Industry Sectors, confirms that the USMCA will improve market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food producers. The report states that USMCA would have “a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector.” Furthermore, it "would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy", raising U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion. USMCA further strengthens U.S. food and agricultural trade by enhancing standards for biotechnology; reducing the use of trade distorting policies; establishing modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards; reinforcing disciplines for science-based SPS measures; improving grading standards and services; and facilitating the marketing of food and agricultural products. These advances help provide certainty in the North American market, which is essential to the success of American agriculture and retailers.
Given the significance of USMCA for the U.S. agriculture and food industry, we strongly urge that it be considered immediately, and we respectfully ask you to vote to ratify the agreement.