WASHINGTON – The North American Meat Institute was one of more than 950 stakeholders that sent a joint letter to Congress members on June 11 urging them to quickly ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to ensure what is estimated to have a $68.2 billion impact on the gross domestic product of the US.

Stating the value of agricultural imports to Canada and Mexico topped $40 billion in 2018 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the letter mentions too that the agreement has supported more than 900,000 jobs since its inception, in 1993. An updated version of NAFTA will ensure this arrangement continues to build on what has been a windfall for exporters of US agricultural products.

“This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance US food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in US economic activity,” the joint letter states. It adds that an agreement ensures stability between the countries and additional benefits of continuing trade between the US, Canada and Mexico include the establishment of science-based sanitary standards; decreased trade-distorting trade practices; improved grading standards and ensuring the marketing of food and agricultural products.

“One in four American manufacturing jobs are related to agriculture, and USMCA, once implemented, will strengthen the US farm and agriculture economy and further support and secure vital market access for US farmers, ranchers, and agri-businesses,” according to the letter.