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published: January 24th 2020

Secretary Perdue statement on House Passage of USMCA

U.S. Secretary of Agri-culture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada A-greement (USMCA) by a bipartisan vote of 385-41 in late December.
    “I’ve long said that support for USMCA crosses political parties, the bipartisan passage of the agreement today is proof of that,” Secretary Perdue said. “I am pleased the House finally brought this agreement to a vote and encourage quick passage in the Senate. President Trump delivered on his promise to replace NAF TA and USMCA is a huge success for America’s farmers and ranchers. This agreement will unleash the bounty of America’s agricultural harvest to two of our largest trading partners in the world and it is critical to the success of rural America.”
Background:
    USMCA will advance United States agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. This high-standard agreement builds upon our existing markets to expand United States food and agricultural exports and support food processing and rural jobs.
    Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports support more than 325,000 American jobs.
    All food and agricultural products that have zero tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will remain at zero tariffs. Since the original NAFTA did not eliminate all tariffs on agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, the USMCA will create new market access opportunities for United States exports to Canada of dairy, poultry, and eggs, and in exchange the United States will provide new access to Canada for some dairy, peanut, and a limited amount of sugar and sugar-containing products.
    Earlier this year, nearly 1,000 American food and agriculture associations and companies announced their support for USMCA and the National Associa-tion of State Departments of Agriculture signed a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to ratify USMCA.
    In September, all former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture since President Reagan’s Administration announced support for USMCA. In a letter to Congressional leaders (PDF, 86.0 KB), former Secretaries John Block (Reagan), Mike Espy (Clinton), Dan Glickman (Clinton), Ann Veneman (W. Bush), Mike Johanns (W. Bush), Ed Shafer (W. Bush), and Tom Vilsack (Obama) underscored the importance of passing USMCA saying, “We need a strong and reliable trade deal with our top two customers for U.S. agriculture products. USMCA will provide certainty in the North American market for the U.S. farm sector and rural economy. We strongly support ratification of USMCA.”
SLS

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