In this file:


·         Ag groups eye USMCA benefits

·         NCBA Celebrates Implementation of USMCA Trade Deal

·         Secretary Perdue: President Trump delivers USMCA, a huge win for U.S. agriculture

·         USMCA ushers in new chapter in North American trade

·         USMCA trade agreement goes into effect today



Ag groups eye USMCA benefits


By Nicole Heslip, Brownfield

July 1, 2020


The long-disputed U.S. Mexico Canada Free Trade Agreement goes into effect today and ag groups say updates will greatly benefit the sector.


American Farm Bureau says the agreement is expected to increase U.S. ag exports by $2 billion annually and overall increase gross domestic product by $65 billion.


The agreement will increase U.S. dairy product quotas in Canada and treat wheat imports the same as domestic wheat for grading purposes. Science-based trading standards have also been enhanced among the three nations.  AFBF says the agreement is not a magic bullet for all the challenges facing agriculture and points to Mexico gaining ground in imports of produce and the need for a more level playing field for fruit and vegetable growers.


The head of the International Dairy Foods Association says USMCA is a big deal for the industry as it represents nearly half of U.S. dairy export markets. Michael Dykes tells Brownfield he’s confident Canada will uphold the terms of the agreement when it comes to dairy provisions and he is grateful trade officials took the opportunity to understand concerns of the industry. “Dairy, poultry, and eggs were left out of the original NAFTA so bringing those into the USMCA and negotiating changes to some of those longstanding policies were very important to our industry,” he says. Dairy groups are closely watching how Canada honors the agreement as recently announced tariff rate quota allocations discourage high-value food service or retail products from entering the Canadian market.


The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) say benefits of the agreement now rely on robust enforcement measures to ensure Canada and Mexico are held accountable to their trade commitments.  USMCA also establishes new protections for products that rely on common cheese names.  If implemented as negotiated, U.S. dairy exports are projected to increase by more than $314 million a year and bolster dairy farm revenue by an additional $548 million over the first six years of implementation.


National Association of State Departments of Agriculture...





NCBA Celebrates Implementation of USMCA Trade Deal

“We Are the Envy of Many Countries,” Cattle Groups Say


Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

Jul 1, 2020


WASHINGTON (July 1, 2020) — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today celebrated the successful implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by sending a joint letter of thanks to the leaders of all three nations. The letter was sent to President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. It was signed by NCBA President Marty Smith, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association President Bob Lowe, and CNOG President Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo.


“Together, our organizations worked in unified support of USMCA because it protects market-based principles while making improvements in other sectors to reflect the needs of a modern North American economy,” the leaders of the three cattlemen’s organizations wrote. “We are the envy of many countries because of the marketplace freedom USMCA will continue to provide both producers and consumers.


“International trade is fundamental to the success of North American farmers and ranchers and the full value of the products we sell can only be achieved when we have access to the markets that most value them,” the letter continued. “In the face of the economic hardships of COVID-19, it is timely and welcome that USMCA enters into force, providing a foundation of economic stability for our rural communities and food systems.”


Congress last winter overwhelmingly approved the new USMCA deal, with the Senate voting 89-10 in support of it a few weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives passed it with a strong bipartisan vote of 385-41. NCBA worked hard to build support for USMCA on Capitol Hill, and then-NCBA-President Jennifer Houston led a delegation of more than a dozen members to the White House to attend the official signing ceremony on Jan. 29.


“We believe that our economies and our countries will be stronger together through USMCA,” the letter concluded.


Read the full joint letter here:


source url



Secretary Perdue: President Trump delivers USMCA, a huge win for U.S. agriculture


Source: USDA Office of Communications

Jul 1, 2020


(Washington, D.C., July 1, 2020) – Today, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enters into force, replacing the decades-old NAFTA. USMCA is a better deal for America’s farmers, consumers and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue penned an oped in the North Carolina Fayetteville Observer saying, “USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.”


More here from Secretary Perdue’s oped:


“On my first day as Secretary of Agriculture, President Trump promised he’d fight for better deals for American farmers. That is why the president renegotiated the decades-old NAFTA and modernized it into a better deal for America’s farmers, consumers and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come…


“We are shown once again that President Trump has the backs of America’s farmers and thank him on the delivery of this much better deal…


“USMCA helps all of America’s diverse agricultural industries. This new and improved deal secures greater access to markets and lowers barriers for our agricultural products…


“USMCA eliminates Canada’s unfair Class 7 milk pricing scheme that was creatively developed to allow unfairly low-priced Canadian dairy products to undersell U.S. products in Canada and in third-country markets. United States poultry and egg producers will also see expanded access to Canada’s market, directly benefiting American producers in states like Iowa, Georgia, Arkansas and California…


“It includes rules to address all agricultural biotechnology, including gene editing, in support of 21st century innovations in agriculture. The agreement also improves the flow of trade with new and enforceable rules to ensure that sanitary and phytosanitary measures to protect human, animal, or plant life or health are science-based and transparent…


“USMCA also updates the rules of origin for processed fruits to ensure preferences benefit U.S. producers. Most importantly, the new agreement maintains the tariff-free access for nearly all U.S. agricultural commodities shipped into Mexico and Canada, providing America’s farmers and ranchers continued market access…


“The implementation of this deal sends a strong signal to other important export markets such as the United Kingdom and the European Union that President Trump and Congress are serious about pursuing and enacting future agreements that create better economic opportunities for all parties involved. The United States is open for business, and our farmers are ready to export more of their wholesome and nutritious products to consumers around the world…”


Additionally, Secretary Perdue joined FOX News’ Sandra Smith this morning on America’s Newsroom to talk about the USMCA.




USMCA was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on January 29, 2020, after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. USMCA advances U.S. agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. This high-standard agreement builds upon our existing markets to expand U.S. food and agricultural exports and support food processing and rural jobs. Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports support more than 325,000 American jobs.


Key Provision: Increasing Dairy Market Access

•           America’s dairy farmers will have expanded market opportunities in Canada for a wide variety of dairy products. Canada agreed to eliminate the unfair Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs that allowed their farmers to undersell U.S. producers.


Key Provision: Biotechnology

•           For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology – including new technologies such as gene editing – to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies.


Key Provision: Geographical Indications

•           The agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators and lays out additional factors to be considered in determining whether a term is a common name.


Key Provision: Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures

•           The three countries agree to strengthen disciplines for science-based measures that protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.


Key Provision: Poultry and Eggs

•           U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey, and eggs.


Key Provision: Wheat

•           Canada agrees to terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system, enabling U.S. growers to be more competitive.


Key Provision: Wine and Spirits

•           The three countries agree to avoid technical barriers to trade through non-discrimination and transparency regarding sale, distribution, labeling, and certification of wine and distilled spirits.



USMCA ushers in new chapter in North American trade


by Steve White, Nebraska.TV

July 1st 2020


NAFTA is officially history, as the USMCA takes effect, marking a new chapter for trade with America's neighbors.


The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) takes effect today, July 1, providing stability after years of uncertainty for the nation's farmers.


According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska’s total ag exports to Canada and Mexico amount to $1.46 billion, with corn exports totaling over $402 million, ethanol at $96 million and distillers grains at $27 million. Mexico leads the way as the single country that imports the most U.S. corn and distillers grains. Canada is the No. 2 customer for ethanol and distillers grains.


Both the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association praise the deal.


“It’s been a rough couple of years for farmers economically, but the implementation of USMCA is something that will benefit us for years to come,” said Dan Nerud, president of NeCGA and farmer from Dorchester. “This isn’t something that just benefits corn farmers, but rather it supports all Nebraska agriculture. The state’s total ag exports to Canada and Mexico is nearly $1.5 billion. That’s substantial.”


“Through USMCA, Nebraska’s corn farmers and ethanol producers will have access to two of our top and most reliable customers,” said David Bruntz, chairman of NCB and farmer from Friend. “We’re appreciative for everyone that helped get this trade deal to the finish line, from our farmers and our local politicians all the way up to the governing bodies and leaders of each of the three nations.”


The Nebraska Cattlemen organization echoed those thoughts, saying trade deals are critical for Nebraska.


Beef cattle production is the state's single largest industry, with an impact of nearly $14 billion a year.


Cattlemen say USMCA keeps duty-free, unrestricted access for U.S. Beef exports to Canada and Mexico - worth roughly $1.8 billion.


"Nebraska leads the nation in commercial red meat production and depends on reliable, unrestricted access to our two closest trading partners, which totaled over $250 million worth of beef exports from Nebraska last year. We commend the leadership of our elected officials in this effort," said Ken Herz, Nebraska Cattlemen President...





USMCA trade agreement goes into effect today

Without the enactment of USMCA, the U.S. pork industry would face tariffs like those prior to the North American Free Trade Agreement.


Compiled by Ann Hess, National Hog Farmer 

Jul 01, 2020


The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement enters into force today, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. The USMCA, which President Trump negotiated in 2018, rebalances trade between the three countries and will lead to significant economic and job growth in the United States, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.


Ambassador Lighthizer, who worked closely with Congress to win overwhelming bipartisan approval of the USMCA, issued the following statement about USMCA's entry into force.


"Today marks the beginning of a new and better chapter for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada — just as President Trump promised he would deliver for the American people.


"From day one of his administration, President Trump has changed the focus of America's trade policy away from what is best for big, multi-national corporations to instead what is best for America's workers, farmers and ranchers. That's a monumental change. His success in creating a bipartisan consensus on this new model for trade policy — in spite of the establishment critics who said it couldn't be done — is truly remarkable.


"The USMCA contains significant improvements and modernized approaches that will deliver more jobs, stronger worker protections, expanded market access and greater opportunities to trade for companies large and small. We have worked closely with the governments of Mexico and Canada to ensure that the obligations and responsibilities of all three nations under the agreement have been met, and we will continue to do so to ensure the USMCA is enforced.


"The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that now, more than ever, the United States must stop the outsourcing of jobs and increase our manufacturing capacity and investment here at home. With the USMCA's entry into force, we take another giant step forward in reaching this goal and advancing President Trump's vision for pro-worker trade policies."


Jim Heimerl, owner of Heimerl Farms, a pig farm near Johnstown, Ohio, was president of the National Pork Producers Council in 2018 when the wheels started turning to overhaul NAFTA...