By Jeff Helms
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Jan. 29 — Alabama Farmers Federation joined agricultural groups across the country in praising President Donald J. Trump’s signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement today.
“We appreciate President Trump and his administration working to level the playing field for farmers by negotiating trade agreements that improve access to foreign markets and protect American agriculture from unfair trade practices,” said Federation National Affairs Director Mitt Walker. “USMCA comes on the heels of the Phase 1 China agreement and agricultural trade victories with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and other countries. U.S. farmers are among the most innovative and productive in the world, and we’re confident they will continue to improve America’s positive agricultural trade balance when given the opportunity to compete fairly on the world market.”
The USMCA is expected to increase agricultural exports from the U.S. by $2 billion and result in an overall increase of $65 billion in gross domestic product. The agreement will provide new market access for dairy and poultry products and will result in fair grading standards for U.S. wheat exported to Canada, according to Walker. The deal also addresses agricultural biotechnology to support 21st century innovations, including new technologies such as gene editing.
“There is definitely increased optimism on farms and ranches across America and we’re grateful for the advances, but we’re also realists eager to see results – especially for our dairy and wheat producers,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “We know it will take time for the new deals to go into effect and translate into increased sales. We’re eager to get back into full swing supplying safe, high-quality food and agricultural products around the world.”
President Trump’s signature was the final step in enacting the agreement in the U.S. Mexico approved the USMCA last year. Canada must still ratify the pact, which is expected to occur in the next few months. The agreement will take effect 90 days after all countries have approved it. USMCA replaces the troubled North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Trump noted the historic significance of the deal in tweets following the signing ceremony.
“USMCA is a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art agreement that protects, defends and serves the great people of our country. Promises made; promises kept!,
“For the first time in American history, we have replaced a disastrous trade deal that rewarded outsourcing with a truly fair and reciprocal trade deal that will keep jobs, wealth and growth right here in America!” he added.