U.S., Canada and Mexico reach trade agreement
Canada has agreed to sign a trade deal between the United States and Mexico, replacing NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The agreement, reports CNN, allows U.S. farmers more access to Canada’s dairy market and address concerns about potential U.S. auto tariffs.
"It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home," said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a joint statement.
Many meat trade groups praised the agreement. The North American Meat Institute says that the agreement represents a positive step in preserving duty-free access to two of the U.S. meat and poultry industry’s most critical foreign markets.
“Under NAFTA, U.S. meat and poultry exports to Mexico and Canada have thrived as import duties were removed and non-scientific barriers to trade have been significantly reduced,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “The North American market for the meat and poultry industry is nearly completely integrated and is essential to its long-term viability. The agreement submitted today to Congress safeguards the core tenets of NAFTA that have strengthened the U.S. meat sector and overall economy.”
NAMI stated that since its entry into force in 1994, U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $656 million to more than $1.7 billion in 2017, while pork exports increased in value from $322 million to more than $2.3 billion during that same time period. In terms of volume, Canada and Mexico imported nearly 30 percent of total U.S. beef exports and 40 percent of all U.S. pork exports in 2017 – figures that would have been unattainable without NAFTA. The association urged Congress to ratify the trade agreement expeditiously.
The National Pork Producers Council praised the Trump administration for establishing a free trade agreement that preserves zero-tariff access for U.S. pork to Mexico and Canada.
“We thank the administration for its diligent work to complete recent agreements that maintain zero-tariff access to three of U.S. pork’s top five markets,” said Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and a pork producer for Johnstown, Ohio. “The three-way pact with Mexico and Canada, our largest and fourth largest export markets, respectively, and the recently signed agreement with Korea represent welcome momentum during what has been a challenging year.”
Source: CNN, NAMI, NPPC