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As USMCA begins, Secretary Perdue calls it a huge win for U.S. agriculture

Washington, D.C., July 1, 2020 – Today, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enters into force, replacing the decades-old NAFTA.

USMCA is a better deal for America’s farmers, consumers and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue penned an oped in the North Carolina Fayetteville Observer saying, “USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.”

More here from Secretary Perdue’s oped:

“On my first day as Secretary of Agriculture, President Trump promised he’d fight for better deals for American farmers. That is why the president renegotiated the decades-old NAFTA and modernized it into a better deal for America’s farmers, consumers and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come…

“We are shown once again that President Trump has the backs of America’s farmers and thank him on the delivery of this much better deal…

“USMCA helps all of America’s diverse agricultural industries. This new and improved deal secures greater access to markets and lowers barriers for our agricultural products…

“USMCA eliminates Canada’s unfair Class 7 milk pricing scheme that was creatively developed to allow unfairly low-priced Canadian dairy products to undersell U.S. products in Canada and in third-country markets. United States poultry and egg producers will also see expanded access to Canada’s market, directly benefiting American producers in states like Iowa, Georgia, Arkansas and California…

“It includes rules to address all agricultural biotechnology, including gene editing, in support of 21st century innovations in agriculture. The agreement also improves the flow of trade with new and enforceable rules to ensure that sanitary and phytosanitary measures to protect human, animal, or plant life or health are science-based and transparent…

“USMCA also updates the rules of origin for processed fruits to ensure preferences benefit U.S. producers. Most importantly, the new agreement maintains the tariff-free access for nearly all U.S. agricultural commodities shipped into Mexico and Canada, providing America’s farmers and ranchers continued market access…

“The implementation of this deal sends a strong signal to other important export markets such as the United Kingdom and the European Union that President Trump and Congress are serious about pursuing and enacting future agreements that create better economic opportunities for all parties involved. The United States is open for business, and our farmers are ready to export more of their wholesome and nutritious products to consumers around the world…”

Additionally, Secretary Perdue joined FOX News’ Sandra Smith this morning on America’s Newsroom to talk about the USMCA.

Background:
USMCA was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on January 29, 2020, after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. USMCA advances U.S. agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. This high-standard agreement builds upon our existing markets to expand U.S. food and agricultural exports and support food processing and rural jobs. Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports support more than 325,000 American jobs.

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.