On December 19th, 2019, the House of Representatives voted 385-41 to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“I’ve long said that support for USMCA crosses political parties, the bipartisan passage of the agreement today is proof of that,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “I am pleased the House finally brought this agreement to a vote and encourage quick passage in the Senate. President Trump delivered on his promise to replace NAFTA and USMCA is a huge success for America’s farmers and ranchers. This agreement will unleash the bounty of America’s agricultural harvest to two of our largest trading partners in the world and it is critical to the success of rural America.”
The United Fresh Produce Association was also pleased with the passing of the agreement. “With today’s strong vote by the House, we encourage the Senate to move forward with consideration of USMCA,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President and CEO. “For the fresh produce industry, this is a welcomed achievement as we continue to meet the demands from consumers for increased availability of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Finally, we believe this new trade agreement will strengthen our partnership between the three countries and provide essential cooperation in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.”
Jim Bair, President and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association said: “We applaud the House approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), as Mexico and Canada represent our top two export markets, totaling nearly a half-billion dollars in annual sales. Growing apples is a risky business and locking in our largest markets adds certainty for the long haul. It lets U.S. growers get back to doing what they do best – producing superior quality apples in a volume and range of varieties not available anywhere else."
“Canada, Mexico and the United States combine to make up the most competitive and successful regional economic platform in the world. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the predecessor to USMCA, apple exports to Mexico quadrupled and those to Canada doubled."
“Throughout USMCA negotiations, USApple members carried out unprecedented advocacy efforts to help secure ratification of the agreement. Through media events, opinion editorials, community roundtables, Capitol Hill fly-ins and congressional meetings, apple growers and leaders joined the agriculture community in record numbers to help get it over the finish line. USApple looks forward to the Senate ratifying the agreement early in the coming year.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall states: “This trade agreement could not come at a more critical time for U.S. agriculture. Farmers and ranchers have been hit with a perfect storm of low commodity prices, weather disasters, trade disruptions and a severe downturn in the farm economy. The USMCA will provide continuity in the growth of the North American market and will strengthen our trading relationships with Canada and Mexico, which are our number-one and number-two export markets, respectively."
“We are hopeful that USMCA can be a model for future U.S. trade agreements, as these modernized rules will be a strong guide for addressing continuing issues. We urge the Senate to quickly approve the USMCA.”
The agreement will now go to the Senate for a vote. Once Congress acts, the President is expected to sign the agreement, which will finalize its enactment.