ARLINGTON, Va., June 11, 2019 – Nearly 1,000 broad-based organizations representing U.S. food and agriculture today called on Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In a letter sent to Congress, more than 950 groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels called on Congress to support ratification of USMCA. The letter reiterates that USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers an abundant supply of safe, high-quality human and animal food at competitive prices.
“This trade accord improves market access for several U.S. agricultural products and contains significant improvements that will facilitate more seamless cross-border trade, particularly between the United States and Mexico,” said NGFA President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Gordon. “Specifically, for the grain and oilseed sector, the accord contains provisions that will facilitate more timely resolution of sanitary and phytosanitary issues that may arise in cross-border shipments, and will do so in a science-based manner in accordance with World Trade Organization protocols and existing international conventions. Further, the agricultural biotechnology provisions will encourage regulatory coherence among all three countries.
“In every respect, USMCA preserves or builds upon current market access for U.S agricultural products and will facilitate more efficient cross-border trade between all three countries,” Gordon said. “And its speedy ratification is absolutely essential if the United States is to be viewed as a reliable partner in negotiating much-needed future trade agreements with Japan and other countries that are so important to U.S. agriculture and our nation’s economic growth and job creation.”
Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under USMCA’s predecessor – the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018 and helping to support more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the U.S. economy. USMCA builds on the success of NAFTA and is projected to deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity. One in four U.S. manufacturing jobs already are attributable to agriculture.
The International Trade Commission’s recent independent report on USMCA confirmed that the agreement will improve market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers, food producers and agribusinesses, as well as positively affect both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,100 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA also consists of 33 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.