House passes USMCA; trade agreement waits for Senate approval

Soy growers, other agriculture and business groups have rallied collectively for months to ensure the House of Representatives would pass the “new NAFTA” before the fade of 2019. Today, that critical step has happened. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) expresses its strong appreciation to Speaker Pelosi and the House for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“This is a win for soybean farmers and a win for the Administration and Congress. Their efforts to pass a free trade deal that can restore certainty and stability to an important export market for our farmers demonstrates that they can accomplish great things working in unison,” said ASA President Bill Gordon, a soybean farmer from Worthington. “We express our thanks to the House of Representatives for this momentous act. We now look to the Senate to take up and pass USMCA in early 2020.”

Mexico is the #2 market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is the #4 buyer of meal and #7 buyer of oil for U.S. soybean farmers, making the trade agreement essential to sustaining the growth realized in those two countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We are pleased to see a bipartisan agreement on USMCA, which is a vital step toward restoring stability to our markets,” says MSGA President Jamie Beyer, who visited the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. in July 2019. “Trade with Canada and Mexico is incredibly important to soybean producers. Now, we look forward to the Senate and the Trump administration finish the job by ratifying this trade agreement.”

Since NAFTA was enacted, Mexico and Canada have become the second largest market for U.S. soybeans and soy products, equating to $2 billion annually. Over the past 25 years, U.S. exports to Mexico quadrupled and exports to Canada doubled. As a result, Mexico and Canada now account for nearly 30 percent of all U.S. ag exports.

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