ARLINGTON, VA, Oct. 1, 2018 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) today commended the Trump administration and its counterparts in Mexico and Canada for reaching a trilateral trade agreement.
“Given the integrated nature of the North American economy, including within the food and agricultural sector, it was extremely important to reach a trade agreement that included all three countries,” said NGFA President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Gordon and NAEGA President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Martin. “The announcement of a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) represents a significant, positive step in modernizing and further enhancing North American food and agricultural commerce that has and will continue to benefit economic growth and consumers in this hemisphere, and further enhance investment and food security.”
NGFA and NAEGA said they looked forward to working with all three governments as part of the review and ensuing implementation of the agreement.
“Our industry is encouraged about reports that the final agreement takes steps to modify some existing impediments to agricultural trade, including dairy, and will preserve some form of the trilateral Chapter 19 tariff dispute-settlement mechanism contained in the North American Free Trade Agreement,” Gordon and Martin said.
The NGFA and NAEGA also said they were particularly pleased by what they understand to be several efforts to preserve and enhance current trade terms in North America that were agreed to initially between the United States and Mexico. These include: the retention of zero tariffs on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico; the addition of 21st century language to enhance information exchange and cooperation on agricultural biotechnology trade-related matters; an agreement to strengthen disciplines for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures to facilitate trade; and an agreement that grading standards and services on agricultural products, including grains and oilseeds, will operate independently from domestic registration systems for grain and oilseed varieties. Concerning SPS measures, the NGFA and NAEGA said they particularly were pleased by the inclusion of a provision – advocated by both groups – that would commit the three countries to provide notification of any adverse SPS import issues within five days, versus the seven days that had been agreed to under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement from which the United States withdrew.
The NGFA and NAEGA expressed appreciation to the White House, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the team of negotiators within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as well as to negotiators from Mexico and Canada, for their persistence and determination to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of all three countries.
The NGFA and NAEGA said they looked forward to providing further analysis and input once the full details of the agreement are examined, and to participating fully in the process as the next phase of forwarding the new agreement to the legislative bodies in each country begins. The Associations also look forward to building on the successful USMCA to support U.S. trade initiatives with Japan, China, the European Union and other markets.
The 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. The NGFA also consists of 34 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and has strategic alliances with Pet Food Institute and North American Export Grain Association.
NAEGA, a not-for-profit trade association established in 1912, consists of private and publicly owned companies and farmer-owned cooperatives that are involved in and provide services to the agri-bulk products international trading industry. NAEGA members are exporters of and serve the vast majority of all U.S. grain and oilseeds in international markets. NAEGA’s mission is to promote and sustain the development of commercial export. Through a reliance on member action and support, NAEGA acts to accomplish its mission in markets throughout the world.