The House Democrats announced that they have struck a deal with the White House to advance the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. The deal was struck, according to CNN, after months of negotiations over key issues, including enforcement mechanisms and standards for labor and environmental protections. Key meat industry trade groups have called for swift approval of USMCA.
The House plans to vote on the USMCA within the next week, and it is expected to pass with bipartisan support. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already stated that the Senate will not take up the agreement until the presumed impeachment trial of President Trump is completed.
“We will not be doing USMCA in the Senate between now and next week,” he said. “That will happen, in all likelihood, right after the trial is finished in the Senate.”
The House has yet to vote on articles of impeachment, so there is not yet a timetable for a Senate trial.
Meat industry groups praised the agreement between the White House and House Democrats and called for Congress to approve it.
“We are pleased with the agreement reached between the Trump Administration and House Leadership allowing Congress to consider USMCA before the holidays,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “The U.S. meat and poultry industry exports $5.5 billion annually in products to Canada and Mexico. Swift adoption of this agreement is critical to meat and poultry processors and the millions of U.S. farmers, ranchers, allied manufacturers and transportation companies in the food supply chain.”
“USMCA will maintain and improve market access for U.S. chicken in our top two markets in terms of value, Mexico and Canada," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. "It will also positively impact both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.”
The National Turkey Federation released the following statement: “The USMCA is a win for the U.S. turkey industry, and with today’s announced agreement we’re one step closer to ratification. It’s taken a great deal of hard work to reach consensus on the USMCA, and we thank President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer, Secretary Perdue, Speaker Pelosi and congressional leaders in both parties who have gotten us to this point.
“Now, it’s time for Congress to come together and vote in support of the USMCA, which reinforces our country’s relationship with two critical foreign markets for U.S. turkey products. The best gift Congress can give America’s turkey farmers and processors going into the new year is greater certainty that these important trade relationships with Mexico and Canada will be preserved.”
Sources: CNN, NAMI, NCC, NTF