Today’s announcement regarding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is welcome news. The  hard-fought win solidifies the trading relationships with North American neighbors. 

“Canada is our neighbor directly to the north so it’s essential we continue to have a good trade relationship with them,” noted Montana Farm Bureau Federation President Hans McPherson. “This agreement, called the USMCA, includes timely review of products produced through biotechnology and gene editing, new provisions on geographic indications and science-based trading standards.” 

MFBF tried to make it clear that the wheat grading issue should be a priority in the renegotiation. “We understand that Canada has agreed to grade imports of United States wheat in a manner no less favorable than it accords Canadian wheat, and to not require a country of origin statement on its quality grade or inspection certificate. This is a clear victory for Montana farmers,” McPherson noted. “In addition, Canada and the United States agreed to discuss issues related to seed regulatory systems. We also heard that to facilitate the marketing of food and agricultural products, Mexico and the United States agreed that grading standards and services will be non-discriminatory for all agricultural goods and will establish a dialogue to discuss grading and quality trade related matters.” 

Farm Bureau noted that the elimination of Canada’s Class 7 dairy pricing program is a clear victory for farmers, and the U.S. now has access to an additional 3.6 percent of Canada’s dairy market, which is even better than what we would have achieved under TPP. 

McPherson added, “Trade is critical to agriculture, especially trade with our two closest neighbors. The USMCA builds on the success our farmers and ranchers have seen from NAFTA. Mexico, is still an $18 billion market for U.S. ag products. We are pleased about the progress with the USMCA and are optimistic to see other trade deals hammered out and approved across the world.”