Montana Farm Bureau President Hans McPherson has praised President Donald Trump’s signing of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement this morning.

“Montana Farm Bureau has worked very hard, along with American Farm Bureau, to get the USMCA ratified and we’re thrilled with President Trump for standing with farmers and ranchers and signing this extremely important agreement. We’d like to thank our Congressional delegation for their support and realization that this agreement is vital to Montana agriculture,” McPherson said. “Agriculture is Montana’s number-one industry, and these excellent trade deals increase the demand for our agricultural products. Everything good for agriculture is good for Montana. The signing of this important agreement is truly a highlight for the ag community as well as for consumers, and it points to a bright future for farmers and ranchers.”

McPherson noted that Canada still needs to ratify the pact which is expected to occur in the next couple of months. Once that’s done, the agreement will take effect 90 day after all countries have approved it, so hopefully our farmers realize the benefits from this trade agreement as spring heads into summer. “Right now, Montana has $731 million in exports to Mexico and Canada combined. It will be good to see an increase in this numbers as USMCA goes into effect,” McPherson said.

The USMCA is expected to increase agricultural exports from the U.S. by $2 billion and result in an overall increase of $65 billion in gross domestic product.  Canada will increase quotas on U.S. dairy products, benefitting American dairy farmers by $242 million.  Canada will treat wheat imports the same as domestic wheat for grading purposes, which is especially important to Montana. Montana has had a dispute for years on wheat grading with their neighbor to the north. Mexico has agreed that all grading standards for ag products will be non-discriminatory. The agreement also enhances science-based trading standards among the three nations. 

USMCA comes on the heels of a string of trade successes. The China Phase 1 Agreement signed last month goes into effect in mid-February. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement signed last fall went into effect this month, which was especially important to Montana’s cattle ranchers.