By Ashley Rice
President Donald Trump ceremoniously signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Wednesday surrounded by farmers, ranchers, and manufacturing, auto and energy workers.
“This is a colossal victory for our farmers, ranchers, energy workers, factory workers and American workers in all 50 states, and you could almost say beyond,” stated Trump. “The USMCA is estimated to add another 1.2% to our GDP (gross domestic product) and create countless new American jobs.”
If you’re keeping track, that’s two countries down and one to go, as Canada still needs to ratify the agreement, which Mexico previously approved. The agreement will take effect 90 days after all countries have approved it.
Trump listed some of the benefits of USMCA to U.S. agriculture, including Canada providing greater access to American dairy, increased poultry and egg exports, and Canada giving fair treatment to U.S. wheat.
“This agreement is a great and vital victory that will set the stage for increased agricultural opportunity in 2020 and the years to come,” said Richard Guebert Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau president. “One in every 5 acres in Illinois is planted to feed Mexican and Canadian consumers. As farmers prepare for the 2020 planting season, hope is on the horizon for our Illinois farmers to sell what they grow.”
Other components of USMCA will benefit manufacturers, auto makers and steel workers. In addition, there are new labor protections, intellectual property protections, textile industry protections and new standards for the environment.
“Together, we’re building a glorious future that is raised, grown and made right here in the glorious USA,” commented Trump. “It’s a real honor to be involved and to have helped so many people.”
What others are saying:
AFBF President Zippy Duvall: "There is definitely increased optimism on farms and ranches across America and we’re grateful for the advances, but we’re also realists eager to see results — especially for our dairy and wheat producers. We know it will take time for the new deals to go into effect and translate into increased sales. We’re eager to get back into full swing supplying safe, high-quality food and agricultural products around the world.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro: “Things are looking up for America’s farmers, with USMCA expected to strengthen exports for our farmers by an expected $2.2 billion annually, opening markets up to American dairy, wheat, and poultry products. The agreement is expected to create over 176,000 new U.S. jobs. And it will give the nearly 70,000 Illinoisans whose jobs depend on fair and free trade with Canada and Mexico the certainly they deserve. Under President Trump’s leadership and with bipartisan support in Congress, we’ve taken big step forward on behalf of the American people.”
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap: “It was an honor to join President Trump this morning for the signing of the USMCA. Trade with Mexico and Canada is vital for Illinois, and USMCA is a win for our farmers, manufacturers, small businesses, and workers. In central and west-central Illinois, our producers rely on the open market and free flow of goods to remain competitive in the global economy. USMCA maintains that important relationship, provides needed certainty, and will bolster our strong economy."
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue: “Today is a good day for American agriculture. Throughout this process, there were many detractors who said it couldn’t be done. But this is further proof that President Trump’s trade negotiation strategy is working. This agreement shows the rest of the world the United States is open for business."
This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.