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U.S. farm groups call for USMCA ratification

U.S. farm groups call for USMCA ratification

The member countries signed off on the trade agreement in November

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Several American commodity groups are calling for the Trump administration to ratify an important trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The American Soybean Association (ASA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are among the members of the USMCA Coalition. The group, which includes more than 200 organizations from different sectors, will work “to secure congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).”

Representatives from the member nations signed off on the trilateral trade pact in November. But each federal government needs to ratify the deal before it can be implemented and ultimately replace NAFTA.

Ratifying the USMCA is a top national priority for 2019, ag organizations say.

“Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable corn market; Mexico is corn’s number one buyer and Canada is one of our largest ethanol importers. We cannot afford to risk losing this market,” Lynn Chrisp, president of the NCGA, said in a statement Friday. “USMCA is NCGA’s top legislative priority for 2019 and we will be working closely with the Administration and members of Congress to get it ratified.”

The ratification process may include the U.S. removing tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico.

President Trump imposed 10 and 25 percent tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, respectively.

The time has come to stop those levies, said Sonny Perdue, the U.S. ag secretary.

“I have come to the conclusion that tariffs as a leverage mechanism are very effective,” Secretary Perdue said during the Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla. “I think (President Trump has) validated that. I think once you’ve used that leverage, I’m working to persuade him that the leverage is no longer needed, unless it’s needed for enforceability going forward. I don’t believe we need that for Canada and Mexico.”

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