January 23, 2020

USMCA Approved by House and Senate, Heading to President’s Desk

USMCA Approved by House and Senate, Heading to President’s Desk

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) passed in the House and Senate and is now waiting on President Trump’s signature. The Senate passed the USMCA in a bipartisan vote of 89-10.

The USMCA will advance United States agriculture interest for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness. “The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, in a press release. “With Congressional consideration now complete, our farmers and ranchers are eager to see the President sign this legislation and begin reaping the benefits of this critical agreement.”

USMCA is a win for the agriculture industry. Jennifer Houston, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association stated USMCA is “a crucial win for all U.S. beef producers and a reassurance that U.S. beef will continue to have duty-free access to Canada and Mexico." Likewise, Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation said the “ratification of USMCA is an important step in solidifying trade relations with Mexico and Canada, which are critical destinations for U.S. pork, beef, and lamb.”

Not everyone is satisfied with the USMCA. Leo McDonnell, Director Emeritus at the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) shared displeasure that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) is excluded from the agreement, stating “the failure to include meaningful COOL for beef in USMCA is disheartening at best,” McDonnell continued, “during the few years that COOL for beef was in effect, U.S. ranchers experienced one of the greatest cattle markets in history because consumers and retailers were given choices, and U.S. ranchers were allowed to compete on a more level playing field by identifying their product for consumers.”

The USMCA will expand market access for American dairy, poultry, and eggs, establish mechanisms for cooperating on ag biotechnology and support innovation, introduce a rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators, strengthen sanitary and phytosanitary measures, increase trade of wine and spirits, and establish fair treatment in quality grading for American wheat.

Read about the USMCA here.