USMCA a boon for state ag industry

The announcement that Democrats in the House of Representatives have reached an agreement with the White House on the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is good news for Minnesota farmers, who have had very little news to cheer them recently.

The agreement is intended to replace NAFTA, the Bush-era trade agreement, and will affect nearly every aspect of trade between the three North American nations. It will especially open up trade for farm commodities from pork and poultry to dairy.

Dairy exports to Canada would benefit from the elimination of pricing classes that undercut American dairy products in Canada and other countries. Markets for American poultry products, especially turkeys, would expand.

Canada and Mexico are major markets for Minnesota farm products. The USMCA is expected to increase U.S. ag exports by $2 billion.

The House is expected to vote on USMCA this week. The Senate is expected to take it up after the new year.

The sooner the agreement can be approved by Congress, the sooner Minnesota’s farmers can start reaping the benefits.