Jun 11, 2019Agriculture groups urge action on USMCA measure
The attached letter urging ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was sent this morning to congressional leaders from nearly 1,000 food and agriculture organizations, including the U.S. Apple Association. Below is a statement from USApple President & CEO Jim Bair regarding swift passage of the USMCA. Bair is a member of a steering committee of CEOs leading the grassroots efforts in support of the USMCA.
“Mexico and Canada are top export markets for apples, totaling nearly a half-billion dollars in annual sales. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is good for apples as it maintains duty-free access and other important provisions from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including dispute resolution. Apples were a big winner under NAFTA, which quadrupled exports to Mexico and doubled those to Canada. Maintaining these trading partnerships under the USMCA is critical to the health of the apple industry.
“Free trade in the North American market brought billions of dollars in sales to apple growers. It’s not an overstatement to say our vitality depends on continued free trade so we’re calling on Congress to ratify the USMCA as quickly as possible.”
The contents of the June 11, 2019, letter:
“The Honorable Nancy Pelosi The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Speaker Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader Minority Leader
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,
We, the undersigned organizations representing all segments of the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels, write to urge your strong support for swift ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.
Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.
The International Trade Commission’s new report, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and Specific Industry Sectors, confirms that the USMCA will improve market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food producers. The report states that USMCA would have “a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector.” Furthermore, it “would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy”, raising U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion.
USMCA further strengthens U.S. food and agricultural trade by enhancing standards for biotechnology; reducing the use of trade distorting policies; establishing modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards; reinforcing disciplines for science-based SPS measures; improving grading standards and services; facilitating the marketing of food and agricultural products; and strengthening safeguards for commonly used food names. These advances help provide certainty in the North American market, which is essential to the success of American agriculture and retailers.”
For the full letter, visit the following link:
Western Growers’ statement on U.S. and Mexico trade deal:
“In response to the deal reached by the U.S. and Mexico to avert the addition of five percent tariffs on all Mexican goods, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“We are pleased that this potential impediment to trade between our two countries has been avoided. Mexico represents one of the largest export markets for U.S. agricultural goods, and any tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs would be devastating for American farmers, in particular given the current barriers to access to Chinese markets.
“As significant as this deal is in maintaining our regular flow of trade with Mexico, it is equally critical in clearing the pathway for passage and implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Like NAFTA before it, the USMCA maintains zero-tariff treatment for all produce, a provision that led to the tripling of U.S. exports to Mexico over the past 25 years. Additionally, the USMCA contains favorable terms that will advance science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures and strengthen Mexico’s labor standards.
“With the threat of tariffs no longer standing in the way, as well as other early obstacles that have now been removed, the onus is on Congress to pass the USMCA, which we urge with the greatest expediency.”
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce.