Soybean farmers are confident Congress can pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by year end. To encourage the process and show support of the agreement, farmer leaders from throughout the nation’s 30 soybean-producing states will converge on Capitol Hill Nov. 19 to request Congress keep moving the bill forward before its 2019 calendar is completed.
“Soybean farmers are clearly in a prolonged period of trade uncertainty. USMCA would assure we have stable, open access to Mexico and Canada, both vital markets for our crop,” said Worthington farmer Bill Gordon, vice president of the American Soybean Association (ASA).
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), farmers and agricultural businesses were able to grow their exports by 450 percent, accounting for $40 billion in ag exports in 2018. Additionally, agricultural businesses were able to use increased revenue from growth to create jobs for 43 million Americans. In Minnesota alone, NAFTA creates more than 10,000 jobs.
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.
ASA and other agriculture groups continue to advocate online for #USMCAnow and hope that the growers’ outreach in person this week in D.C. will impress upon Congressional leaders the immediate need to ratify USMCA.