January 16th, 2020: The Senate has passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a bipartisan vote of 89-10. This long-awaited agreement will replace the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and will expand existing markets of agricultural exports with two of the United States’ top trading partners. Exports to Mexico and Canada represented $39.7 billion in food and agricultural exports in 2018 and supported an estimated 325,000 American jobs, according to the USDA.
Dairy will have expanded market access in Canada, which eliminated its unfair Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs under USMCA. These programs essentially allowed Canadian producers to undersell U.S. producers. In addition, U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for their products. Canada will also terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system to allow U.S. growers to be more competitive.
“This is another important step forward for dairy farmers throughout the U.S.,” said Laurie Fischer, American Dairy Coalition CEO. “After suffering severe economic losses over the last 5 years, the nation’s dairy farmers look forward to stability, certainty and growth of dairy products into the markets of Mexico and Canada. This has been a huge week on Capitol Hill with agreements on two major trade barriers. ”
Next, President Trump is expected to sign USMCA. After which, Canada will also need to ratify the agreement.
The American Dairy Coalition is pleased to see U.S. producers enjoy expanded markets and the certainty their products will be able to compete fairly. Thank you to the President Trump for his hard work in negotiating this agreement and for the bipartisan cooperation of our Congress in passing this important piece of legislation.