WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed into law the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) bringing an end to uncertainty over trade with the United States’ closest and largest partners.
The modified free trade agreement retains zero tariffs on the majority of agricultural trade between the three nations. The USMCA also opens Canadian markets to American dairy producers, imposes stricter labor requirements in Mexico and incentivizes increased car production in the US. The USMCA also contains a provision that requires the three nations to review the agreement after six years. The deal would expire 16 years later if one country decides to leave the pact.
Organizations that represent livestock producers lauded the signing.
“USMCA provides US pork producers with certainty in two of our largest export markets and we thank President Trump and his administration for making USMCA a top priority,” said Dave Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and a hog farmer from Lillington, North Carolina.
“With USMCA now signed into law, NPPC is focused on another top trade priority for U.S. pork producers: unrestricted access to China,” Herring said. “We believe that pork will be the litmus test for China’s compliance with its phase-one purchase commitments to the United States.”
Herring also urged China to eliminate the 60 percent punitive tariffs and other restrictions on US pork exports.
“Tariff elimination would more than double annual US pork sales, generate 184,000 new American jobs and reduce the overall trade deficit with China by nearly six percent, all within the next decade,” he added.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association noted that USMCA signing follows the “phase one” trade agreement with China, a new agreement with Japan and improved access to markets in the European Union.
“Add that to the new waters rule that was finalized last week, new proposed grazing regulations, and new proposed rules that would provide much-needed relief the National Environmental Policy Act, and it’s easy to see that 2020 is off to a truly historic start for US beef producers,” said Jennifer Houston, president of the NCBA. “I want to thank the President and his entire team for listening to our producers’ concerns and for working with us to find real common-sense solutions.”
The Canadian parliament must ratify the USMCA before it can take effect. Mexico already ratified the agreement.