WASHINGTON – A group of 67 food and agriculture associations and companies sent a letter today to Congressional leadership and all 535 Congressional offices strongly urging lawmakers to vote to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Groups and companies from across the food and agriculture spectrum underscored that the new agreement includes important improvements that will enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of American agricultural products to Canada and Mexico, respectively. Furthermore, the letter stated, a recent analysis of the USMCA by the International Trade Commission (ITC) found the deal to be a boon for the U.S. economy, raising U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion and pumping an additional $2.2 billion, or 1.1%, into the U.S. economy through increases in agricultural and food exports.
“The food and agriculture industry welcomed the opportunity to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” the letter says. “Since NAFTA was implemented, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017.”
The letter goes on to detail findings from the ITC report, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and Specific Industry Sectors, which determined that the USMCA “would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy” and “a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector”, according to the ITC report.
The letter says, “The ITC report confirmed our belief that the USCMA will further increase the benefit to American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses by improving market access and customs procedures, establishing modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and enhancing standards for biotechnology and strengthening safeguards for commonly used food names.”
Trade with Canada and Mexico supports more than 12 million American jobs in every state in the country. Canada and Mexico buy American grains, dairy products, meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Nearly one-third of U.S. agricultural exports valued at approximately $40 billion go to our North American neighbors, supporting more than 300,000 American jobs.
American farmers and ranchers and food companies have praised USMCA for its outstanding market access and modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards that are the strongest achieved in any trade agreement. There is strong support for ratification of USMCA from U.S. food and agriculture associations and companies, as today’s letter illustrates.
To read the letter, click here.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports nearly 3 million jobs that generate more than $161 billion in wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. IDFA members range from multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent approximately 90 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. The diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers, cooperatives and companies that offer a wide variety of nutritional dairy products and dairy-derived ingredients. Visit IDFA at www.idfa.org.