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U.S. farm groups welcome new NAFTA

U.S. farm groups welcome new NAFTA

Changes to dairy and wheat will benefit U.S. producers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The American ag industry is pleased with the outcome of recent trade negotiations.

Yesterday, the Canadian and American federal governments released details of the bilateral trade agreement. Combined with Mexico, the new continental trade pact is called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The UMCA will replace NAFTA once all three governments ratify the deal.

Having an agreement in place is good news for producers.

“This agreement is a strong sign that we value our trading partners,” Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, told Farms.com. “It’s a message to our wheat growers that better trade is on the way.”

Within the deal are sections that will benefit the U.S. wheat sector.

Prior to the agreement, some wheat varieties grown in the U.S. and imported back into Canada would automatically receive a feed grading.

“Feed grade is the lowest possible grade and would result in lower prices for American wheat growers,” Goule said. “That provision was also not compliant with World Trade Organization rules, so we are pleased that our negotiators and Canadian counterparts were able to include that in the deal.”

The USMCA will also have a profound impact on the U.S. dairy sector.

American dairy farmers will receive access to about 3.59 percent of the Canadian dairy market. Canada will also eliminate tariffs on whey and margarine, and provide new access for U.S. chicken, turkey and eggs.

Canada will eliminate its milk classes 6 and 7, which will help U.S. farmers market milk protein concentrates.

“This agreement, when implemented, should give us additional marketing opportunities that will allow us to provide high-quality American dairy products to Canada, which means we’ve made incremental progress,” Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, said in a statement yesterday.

mareandmare/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

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