After months of negotiations and passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade Agreement (USMCA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, this afternoon, President Trump signed the agreement at a White House ceremony today.
Land O’Lakes, Inc. counts this bipartisan agreement as win for U.S. farmers, rural businesses and communities. USMCA builds on the success of NAFTA, which grew U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico from $8 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. Highlights of the deal include: maintains strong market access to U.S. agricultural products; eliminates Canada’s unfair Class 6 and 7 milk price classes; improves regulatory coordination for ag biotechnology; and, maintains strong market access for dairy in Mexico, our number one export market
Together, our voices were heard -- thank you
Knowing USMCA would be in the best interest for our member-owners and the health of the broader industry, forward momentum for this deal has been the top priority of Land O’Lakes advocacy efforts.
“We continue to advocate for market certainty and stability for our members,” Beth Ford, president and CEO commented. “This agreement is a significant step to achieving it and we thank all the Administration and Congressional leaders that worked hard in moving this deal forward.”
In 2019, Land O’Lakes staff, Elected Leaders and Board of Directors conducted more than 160 Hill Office meetings on trade and USMCA approval. In collaboration with DC-based trade associations, member-owners participated in six USMCA-relevant D.C. fly-ins and hosted two fly-outs with Members of Congress. And in June 2019, over 900 U.S. agriculture organizations called on Congressional leaders to advance USMCA approval -- including Land O’Lakes, Inc. and nearly 70 retail-owners. We also saw grassroots activation with member-owners and employees through two important action alerts to the House and Senate in December 2019.
“Through persistent and strategic advocacy, together, Land O’Lakes leadership, member-owners and employees have shown the strength of a cooperative,” said Autumn Price, vice president of Government Relations. “Thank you to all who took action. The collective voice of the Land O’Lakes, Inc. network and agriculture is powerful and effective.”
With ratification from Mexico (June 2019) and the U.S. today, Canada is expected to take up and approve USMCA in parliament this spring. From there, the three countries will work out implementation details. USMCA will take effect 60 days after procedural details have been completed.