The NGFA joined with 67 other food and agriculture associations and companies in sending a letter on May 6 to the congressional leadership and all 535 members of Congress strongly urging ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The organizations and companies representing the diverse food and agriculture spectrum underscored that the new agreement includes important improvements that will enhance food and agricultural trade and expand exports of U.S. agricultural products to Canada and Mexico. Further, the letter noted that a recently completed analysis of USMCA conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) found the accord would benefit the U.S. economy, increasing U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $68.2 billion and generating an additional $2.2 billion, or 1.1 percent, of U.S. economic activity through increases in agricultural and food exports.
“The food and agriculture industry welcomed the opportunity to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” the letter stated. “Since NAFTA was implemented, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017.”
The letter detailed findings from the ITC report, which determined that the USMCA “would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy” and “a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector.”
The NGFA and other food and agricultural groups’ letter stated that the ITC report had confirmed their belief that the USMCA “will further increase the benefit to American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses by improving market access and customs procedures, establishing modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and enhancing standards for biotechnology and strengthening safeguards for commonly used food names.”
Trade with Canada and Mexico supports more than 12 million American jobs in every state in the country. Canada and Mexico buy American grains, dairy products, meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Nearly one-third of U.S. agricultural exports valued at approximately $40 billion go to our North American neighbors, supporting more than 300,000 American jobs.
American farmers and ranchers and food companies have praised USMCA for achieving improved market access and modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards that are the strongest achieved in any trade agreement to date.