WASHINGTON — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association asked Congress earlier this week to approve the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The letter addressed both Republican and Democratic leadership including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Thirty-nine state affiliates signed the letter to support the trade agreement.

“American cattle producers need to maintain our unrestricted, duty-free access to markets in Canada and Mexico, and that’s exactly what USMCA would guarantee us,” NCBA President Jennifer Houston said in a release. “Jeopardizing that access by having Congress not take action on USMCA is simply not an option for us.”

Along with the call for a Congressional ratification, the letter stated that it opposes efforts to re-instate failed policies of the past such as mandatory country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL).

“MCOOL was US law for six years until it was repealed by Congress in 2015 to avoid $1 billion of retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico that were sanctioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the letter says. “The truth is MCOOL cost the US beef industry hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, and the vast majority of consumers never paid attention to it. Our industry has suffered enough with this bad idea and we do not need to relive the sins of the past.”

The entire text of the letter can be found here.