New trade agreement with Mexico, Canada begins July 1

Alice Mannette

On July 1, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement went into effect, replacing NAFTA.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue penned an op-ed 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.”

According to Perdue, this new and improved deal secures greater access to markets and lowers barriers for our agricultural products.

USMCA addresses agricultural biotechnology, including gene editing. The agreement also improves the flow of trade with new and enforceable rules to ensure that sanitary measures are used. In addition, this trade agreement updates the rules of origin for processed fruits to ensure preferences benefit U.S. producers. However, country of origin labels for meat are not included in this agreement.

According to Perdue, 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.

“USMCA was one of my top legislative priorities, and I was honored to travel to Mexico to negotiate on behalf of agriculture and work with the Trump Administration and our partners on both sides of the border to finalize the deal,” said U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. “Today USMCA went into full effect, delivering unprecedented market access for Kansas farmers and ranchers and officially ushering in a new era of modernized trade agreements for our country. Our agriculture industry has endured tough times and this deal will deliver a new level of certainty and opportunities for our producers.”

USMCA is expected to grow agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada, the United States’ two largest trading partners, by $2 billion.