President Trump signs USMCA trade deal into law, Canada to follow

By Ron Kotrba | January 29, 2020

President Donald Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement into law Jan. 29, a trade deal supplanting the North American Free Trade Agreement that has been in effect for the past 26 years.

“Today is a good day for American agriculture,” said Sonny Perdue, U.S. secretary of agriculture. “USMCA is critical for America’s farmers and ranchers, who will now have even more market access to our neighbors to the north and the south. I am excited to see the economic benefits of this agreement increase the prosperity of all Americans, especially those living in rural America.”  

Canada and Mexico are the first and second largest export markets for U.S. food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion in exports in 2018.

Members of the American Soybean Association board of directors from five states attended the signing ceremony at the White House.

“This final step by President Trump ensures soybean growers will maintain access to two of their top markets, and it will also support the poultry and dairy industries that are important to soy,” said Bill Gordon, ASA president and grower from Worthington, Minnesota. “We reiterate our hearty thanks to both houses of Congress, the president, and their staff who worked together to make this important deal happen.”

Mexico has already acted on USMCA, and Canada’s parliament is expected to approve the deal in the coming weeks. The trade agreement is expected to take effect later this year, after additional procedural steps.

Mexico is the No. 2 market for whole soybeans, meal and oil, and Canada is the No. 4 buyer of meal and No. 7 buyer of oil for U.S. soybean farmers, making the trade agreement essential to sustaining the growth realized in those two countries under NAFTA. Under NAFTA, U.S. soybean sales to Mexico quadrupled and soybean sales to Canada doubled.


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