The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would be an overall win for the U.S. farm sector, reforming biotechnology and phytosanitary standards, but it would also allow for only “slight increases” in exports of some U.S. agricultural commodities, according to a 379-page analysis released today by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The renegotiated North American trade pact is popular in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, but the Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers are making ratification increasingly difficult with complications that threaten to derail the process.
President Donald Trump backed away from his threat to shut down the southern border with Mexico but then also pledged to hit the country with automobile tariffs, a move that breaks a promise not to do so under the renegotiated North American trade pact.
If American almond, citrus, pork, apple and dairy farmers want any chance of regaining their markets in China, Mexico and Canada, U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs will likely have to be lifted. The problem, however, is the threat of cheap foreign metal flooding the U.S. market is now as high as ever.
Mexico is irreplaceable as a foreign market that buys billions of dollars of milk, ham, rice, potatoes and corn, so farm groups are alarmed by President Donald Trump’s renewed threats to shut down the southern border.
The Trump administration, seeking to gain support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement from apprehensive House Democrats, sent its chief trade advisor to Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to try to sell the pact and address lawmakers’ concerns.
The House of Representatives is awash with new lawmakers. They’ve only been on the job for a few months but could present a formidable obstacle for the Trump administration as it pushes for approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Retaliation from around the world to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs is still hitting farmers and ranchers here hard, but the pain could get a lot worse if President Donald Trump follows through with threats to impose new import taxes on cars and car parts.