USMCA agreement reached, moves to White House for next steps

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Signs at a rally to drum up support of the USMCA in Evansville, Indiana, on Sept. 12, 2019.

After year-long negotiations, the House has come to an agreement on the U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The agreement merges the interests between the three countries’ agricultural interests.

Canada and Mexico are the U.S. first and second largest exports totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports also support more than 325,000 American jobs.

The next step requires the Trump administration to submit legislation to Congress. Once the White House hands over written text to Congress, they will have a 90-day window to approve USMCA.

Below are the provisions passed in the USMCA:

Key Provision: Increasing Dairy Market Access

  • America’s dairy farmers will have expanded market opportunities in Canada for a wide variety of dairy products. Canada agreed to eliminate the unfair Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs that allowed their farmers to undersell U.S. producers.

Key Provision: Biotechnology

  • For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology – including new technologies such as gene editing – to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies.

Key Provision: Geographical Indications

  • The agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators and lays out additional factors to be considered in determining whether a term is a common name.

Key Provision: Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures

  • The three countries agree to strengthen disciplines for science-based measures that protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.

Key Provision: Poultry and Eggs

  • U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey, and eggs.

Key Provision: Wheat

  • Canada agrees to terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system, enabling U.S. growers to be more competitive.

Key Provision: Wine and Spirits

  • The three countries agree to avoid technical barriers to trade through non-discrimination and transparency regarding sale, distribution, labeling, and certification of wine and distilled spirits.

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