Ag Groups Welcome USMCA ITC Report

Agriculture groups welcomed the International Trade Commission report on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement released late last week, even though it lacks full benefits for agriculture. National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp says the report “doesn’t fully capture” the economic benefits of trade with Canada and Mexico because it’s an update to NAFTA, which already eliminated most tariffs on exports of U.S. food and agriculture products. Brian Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade called the report an important step, but noted “the benefits of North American trade are already well understood, particularly by farmers and ranchers.” Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, ag exports to Canada and Mexico, grew from $8 billion in 1993 to $40 billion last year. Farm groups are urging Congress to pass the agreement. U.S. Dairy Export Council President and CEO Tom Vilsack says that without USMCA, U.S. dairy farmers “lose out” on new rules that make reforms to Canada’s diary system. Vilsack also noted the importance of Mexico to U.S. dairy, as the U.S. shipped $1.4 billion in dairy products to Mexico last year, accounting for more than one-fourth of U.S. dairy exports.