ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 16, 2020 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) commended Congress for ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) after the Senate approved the trade deal on Jan. 16 by an overwhelming 89-10 vote.
“The USMCA is a tremendous positive for the United States and the entire North American region and our interdependent economies,” said NGFA President and CEO Randy Gordon. “Having a sound and competitive free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is critical to continued economic growth and job creation in the United States and the North American region. The USMCA preserves or expands upon critical market access for U.S. agricultural products in the North American market, improves the process for resolving non-technical barriers to trade and provides a 21st century blueprint for future trade agreements.
“We particularly appreciate the dedication and persistence of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. lawmakers for their commitment to finalizing and ratifying USMCA. We also commend the governments of two of our most important trading partners – Mexico and Canada – in working with the United States to address and resolve issues throughout the negotiation process.”
The USMCA trade agreement will preserve or expand upon critical market access for U.S. agricultural products in the North American market. In addition to maintaining a tariff-free environment for most agricultural goods, USMCA also will help address non-tariff barriers, which are paramount among the current global challenges that distort and slow cross-border trade flows. Among other benefits, USMCA will: Facilitate cross-border trade flows through higher levels of regulatory coherence and cooperation; implement timelines and notifications for adverse import checks; include steps to reduce the likelihood of trade disruptions in products of agricultural biotechnology; use technical consultations for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) disputes; and require that SPS standards be grounded in science and based on proper risk assessments and implemented using accepted risk management techniques. Read more about USMCA here.
The agreement now goes to President Trump for his signature. Mexico’s legislature already has passed USMCA, and the Canadian Parliament is expected to approve the accord in late January or early February. The agreement takes effect 90 days after all three countries approve it, meaning it likely will go into force sometime in May.
NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,000 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. NGFA also consists of 33 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and NGFA is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.