FARMERS APPLAUD PROGRESS ON TRADE AGREEMENTS
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 1 — The Alabama Farmers Federation joined farm groups across the United States in praising progress made by the Trump administration on trade agreements.
President Donald Trump announced a renegotiated trade deal with Canada, which sets the stage for replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The U.S. and Mexico agreed to new trade terms in August.
“This is good news for farmers and our nation as a whole,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Canada and Mexico are our two largest export markets. This agreement not only preserves our partnership with these neighbors, but it also shows the United States can get a better deal for American farmers, businesses and families through strong negotiations.”
The Canada agreement comes on the heels of a new trade deal signed last week by Trump and South Korea President Moon Jae-in.
The USMCA will provide new market access for dairy and poultry products. Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said the agreement is especially important for dairy farmers because it eliminates aspects of Canada’s dairy program (Classes 6 and 7) that were used to undercut U.S. sales of dried milk products. Under the agreement, U.S. dairy products gain access to an additional 3.6 percent of Canada’s dairy market.
“Today’s announcement regarding the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is welcome news,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This was a hard-fought win and we commend the administration for all the efforts to solidify the trading relationships we have with our North American neighbors.
“Trade is critical to agriculture, especially trade with our two closest neighbors. We are grateful for the progress with Mexico and Canada, and we look forward to working with the Administration to strengthen new and existing opportunities for agricultural trade across the globe,” Duvall added.
Canada has also agreed to grade imports of U.S. wheat in a manner no less favorable than their own. Meanwhile, Mexico and the U.S. agreed all grading standards for agricultural products will be non-discriminatory.
The USMCA must still be approved by Congress, which is not expected to consider the measure until 2019. The outcome of midterm elections could weigh heavy on the final vote, if Republicans fail to maintain a majority in the House of Representatives.