By Under Secretary Bill Northey
Des Moines Register
August 26, 2019
Economy & Jobs Issued on: August 27, 2019
When President Trump took office, he promised that he would get better deals for America’s farmers and ranchers. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is just that – a better and improved agreement over the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). USMCA is a big win for Iowa’s agriculture industry and for Americans across the country.
Iowa ranks first in corn production and second in soybean production in the United States. USMCA maintains and strengthens the markets for both corn and soybeans, specifically to Mexico, which is Iowa corn’s No. 1 customer. Iowa also leads the nation in pork production. USMCA enhances access for poultry to two of our largest poultry markets while strengthening sanitary and phytosanitary measures that protect human, animal, and plant health and improving the flow of trade. USMCA also expands the market for eggs, which Iowa produces more of than any other state.
USMCA is the first trade agreement to specifically address agricultural biotechnology, including new gene editing technologies, to support innovation and reduce trade distorting policies.
Iowa’s dairy farmers will finally have access into Canada. USMCA eliminates Canada’s unfair class 7 milk pricing scheme, giving dairy producers more access than what was negotiated in past deals. USMCA updates rules of origin for processed fruits to ensure preferences benefit United States producers. And the new agreement maintains tariff-free access for United States beef shipped into Mexico and Canada, providing Iowa’s cattlemen continued longstanding market access.
USMCA ensures better market access to Iowa’s agriculture exports and solidifies commitments to fair and science-based trade rules.
Now it’s up to members of Congress to take the next step and pass USMCA as soon as they return from the August recess.