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US growers praise new trade deal with Canada/Mexico

by Grain Central, 04 October 2018

UNITED States wheat producer organisations, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and United States Wheat Associates (USW), have welcomed the Trump administration’s new trade deal struck with Canada and Mexico this week.

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We are pleased that the Administration recognises the need for policy certainty with some of our top customers,” USW spokesman, Steve Mercer, said.

“While NAWG and USW must review the language of the new deal, we hope to see provisions that are positive for wheat farmers.”

Mr Mercer said the new agreement would open up new options for US farmers to sell their crops.

“The current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is critically important for wheat farmers who depend on the enormous Mexican market that NAFTA built, but it did have room for improvements, particularly on grain trade with Canada,” he said.

“NAWG and USW called for a fix to the Canadian grain grading system which automatically designates US wheat as the lowest grade simply because it is foreign. This means US farmers producing the highest quality wheat arbitrarily get less value for their crop.”

While cautioning that there was still some way to go to ratify the agreement, Mr Mercer said a critical element of the deal was that Canada had agreed to grade imported wheat with the same requirements as Canadian wheat.

“We will follow the implementation of this commitment closely to ensure US farmers can finally have reciprocal access to the Canadian market,” he said.

Other US reaction to the trade deal:

Iowa secretary of agriculture Mike Naig: “This is the welcome news our farmers need as they bring in this year’s harvest and plan for 2019. Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest trading partners. This agreement brings much needed certainty to our producers and ensures access to these critical markets going forward.”

Kentucky commissioner of agriculture Ryan Quarles: “Excited to hear about the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Our producers need the certainty that comes from trade. Looking forward to getting the full details of #USMCA in the coming days #KyAg365.”

Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry commissioner Mike Strain: “I’m pleased that Canada and Mexico have taken this important step in the right direction toward fair trade and increased market access for American farmers and ranchers. The deal includes key provisions regarding U.S. wheat, dairy, poultry and eggs. I’m hopeful the USMC deal will fuel a renewed effort to improve trade tensions with China, a major agricultural market for Louisiana.”

Missouri director of agriculture Chris Chinn: “I am encouraged the Trump administration has reached a deal with the leadership of Mexico and Canada to provide an improved, modernized trilateral trade agreement. Firming up this agreement with Missouri’s top two agriculture export partners marks a huge leap forward for our farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses.”

Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts: “President Trump has delivered on his promise to finalize a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico… Most importantly, it helps give Nebraska’s farmers and businesses much-needed certainty, and will help us grow these important trade relationships for years to come.”

Sources: USW, USDA

 

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