The trade agreement is a win for agriculture, one Congressman said
By Diego Flammini
A trilateral trade pact is one step closer to U.S. ratification.
The U.S. Ways & Means Committee approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Tuesday in a bipartisan voice vote.
As a result of the committee’s approval, the USMCA moves to the House of Representatives for a full vote. The vote could take place as early as Thursday, and multiple reports indicate the Democrat-controlled House will pass the USMCA on to the Republican-controlled Senate.
“I’m proud to support this agreement and the implementing bill before us,” Richard Neal, chairman of the committee, said during opening remarks yesterday.
U.S. farmers are among the groups who will benefit from the new trade pact.
American dairy and turkey farmers will receive access to Canada’s supply-managed markets. American wheat growers will receive fair quality gradings in Canada.
“This is a Christmas present for all of agriculture,” Roger Marshall, a Kansas Congressman and member of the agriculture committee, told Bloomberg Tuesday.
The digital components of the USMCA will also benefit the American ag industry.
When Canada, Mexico and the United States signed the original NAFTA in 1994, the Internet wasn’t around. The way farmers do business has changed, Marshall said.
“When one of my (constituents) back home buy 100 head of steers to feed out, at the same time they’re buying grain, they’re locking in a long-term price and that’s all done through technology now.”
It’s unlikely the Senate will vote on the USMCA before the end of the year.
“We will not be doing USMCA in the Senate,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week after the member countries signed the USMCA. “That will have to come up, in all likelihood, right after the (impeachment) trial is finished in the Senate.”