Why It Will Take Months to Implement USMCA

Tyne Morgan TPOY
MGN ( The President signed USMCA Wednesday, which completed the ratification process in the U.S. However, even if Canada passes USMCA early next month, experts say it could take months to implement the deal. )

USMCA is officially a done deal in the U.S. President Trump signed the deal Wednesday, clearing the way for Canada to take up the trade pact.

While there weren’t a lot of fireworks with the signing Wednesday, the focus now shifts to implementation of the new trade deal. Farm Journal’s Washington Correspondent thinks Canada will pass USCMA early next month, and implementation will gain speed this summer.

“Officials from the countries  have to do exchange of letters, and Canada has to ratify it, which will probably come in early February,” Wiesemeyer said at Top Producer Summit in Chicago this week. “It just takes time to exchange the papers and start the implementation process, but it'll be steady as you go relative to North American trading.”

With the signing, there’s now more certainty when it comes to North American trade, but that certainty is still lacking when it comes to China. The unknowns surrounding if and when U.S. agricultural goods could head to China are also sparking more questions about another round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments. While MFP 3.0 is still in question, Wiesemeyer thinks the final tranche of 2.0 payments will be coming soon.

“It looks like early February to me, but it will be made, I would say, by the middle of February,” said Wiesemeyer. “That's an important month for a number of Midwest producers relative to financing, rental payments, land payments, etc.”

Wiesemeyer said that final tranche of MFP payments for the 2019 program will total $3.6 billion. He called it “a big chunk of change.” The more pressing question at Top Producer this week has been if MFP 3.0 will happen or not. Even though Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said there will be no payments in 2020, as farmers want more trade than aid, Wiesemeyer and other attendees disagree. If prices don’t improve soon, experts at Top Producer Summit say the likelihood of more MFP in 2020 is growing by the week.

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