A new coalition of more than 200 businesses and farm and manufacturing groups will push Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The new group spans a wide variety of interests and includes ag interests like the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Cargill, and John Deere, to name a few. A complete list of members can be seen here.
Leaders of the three countries signed the pact that would rewrite and rename the North American Free Trade Agreement in November, but its still unclear if the legislatures of the three countries will ratify it.
“The United States, Mexico and Canada have been transformed by nearly 25 years of open agricultural trade, creating a level of economic integration that has made North America one of the world’s most competitive and successful trading blocs,” says Devry Boughner Vorwerk, a vice president at Cargill and co-chair of the new coalition. “We must ensure that the uncertainties that exist about the future of this vital relationship are removed, and passing USMCA is a critical step. We look forward to working with Congress to make this a reality.”
It’s going to be a lot of work. Mexican and Canadian officials have been telling the Trump administration their countries may not be able to ratify the deal because the U.S. has not lifted its steel and aluminum tariffs, and Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress have a list of complaints they want addressed.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue today said he has been lobbying the White House to lift the tariffs on Mexico and Canada, but admitted he has not succeeded.
“Everyone knows that the … tariffs are an issue and an impediment to ratification of the two countries,” Perdue said.
Democrats are generally pleased over the addition of new labor protections in USMCA that are supposed to push up autoworkers’ wages in all three countries as well as give Mexican union members access to collective bargaining that is independent from historically government-run negotiations.
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