USMCA clears Senate, awaits president’s signature

Soy growers, other agriculture and business groups have rallied collectively for months to urge Congress to pass the “new NAFTA.” Today, on Jan.16, the hard work paid off. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association joins the nation’s commodity groups by expressing its strong appreciation to Senate leaders for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a overwhelming 89-10 vote. With passage through both congressional chambers, USMCA will now move to the president’s desk for signature. This final step will ensure soy growers maintain access to two of their top markets.

“ASA has worked throughout the year to encourage legislative support for USMCA, so we appreciate Congress working with the administration, coming together for this bipartisan effort, and getting USMCA to the final step,” says Minnesota farmer and American Soybean Association President Bill Gordon. “In addition to securing the Mexican market as the second largest importer of U.S. soybeans, the terms agreed to by Canada will increase U.S. poultry and dairy exports, which is also a positive for our industry.”

Mexico is the No. 2 market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is the No. 4 buyer of meal and No. 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). Since NAFTA went into effect in 1994, Mexico and Canada have become the second largest markets for U.S. soybeans and soy products, equating to $2 billion annually. Over the past quarter century, 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.

“We express our gratitude to Congress for making USMCA passage a priority, as it means we can start 2020 on a more positive note,” Gordon says.

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