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.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi are scheduled to begin two days of talks on a free trade agreement in Washington Monday, U.S. government officials tell Agri-Pulse.
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.
Brazil has agreed to lift its ban on U.S. pork and make good on a 24-year-old promise to set up an annual 750,000-metric-ton tariff rate quota to allow in U.S. wheat, according to the leaders of the two countries.
China may agree to buy more U.S. agriculture commodities and lift onerous trade barriers in the ongoing talks, but unless negotiators can agree on an effective way to make sure the Chinese live up to their promises, any final deal would be worthless.