Most farmers agree the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a renegotiation of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is good news for agriculture and our nation. President Donald Trump’s administration says USMCA will allow farmers to see increased market access and updated regulatory standards that will strengthen trade and foster a more fair trade environment. The USMCA is far from a done deal. The next step is ratification by the three countries. The U.S. Congress is not expected to vote on it until 2019.
Here's a look at four perspectives on USMCA:
• “The removal of uncertainty that surrounded the future of our trading relationships with Mexico and Canada is very meaningful. U.S. pork is highly dependent on exports; an agreement that preserves zero-tariff access to our largest and fourth-largest export markets provides a boost of confidence to make investments to capitalize on growth opportunities represented by these markets.”
-Jim Monroe, National Pork Producers Council
• “With the information we have at this moment, we don’t believe the agreement will generate a structural change in the North American food and agricultural sector, but it paves the way for more normalized trade, and brings back certainty for further investments and growth.”
-Pablo Sherwell, RaboResearch
• USMCA appears to be good for us as producers. But I question why we have to negotiate so long on a free trade agreement. When we get down to it, if it’s really free trade, we should be able to write it down on a postcard and say we have free trade between our countries.
-Kenny Brinker, Harrison Creek Farm
• “As an economist, I am absolutely an advocate of free trade with the qualifications of fair and reciprocal with American industries and consumers at the forefront. The U.S. economy is strong and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future as the result of lower taxes and reduced regulatory burden. The economic environment could not be better for negotiating trade that will benefit U.S. agriculture into the future.”
- John Nalivka, Sterling Marketing