Wisconsin farm organizations were generally pleased with Sunday’s announcement of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
A key for the Edge Dairy Farmers Cooperative, representing Midwest dairy interests, is that the agreement includes Canada as part of a trilateral trade deal and eliminates a pricing system that hurt American dairy farmers. The USMCA will ultimately need to be approved by Congress.
“Keeping Canada in the trade deal is a critical win for our dairy farmers,” said Brody Stapel, president of Edge. “The partnerships built over the years with Canada and Mexico through NAFTA have been a major part of growth for our businesses. We are both relieved and excited to know that we can continue to maintain both of those markets.”
The elimination of Canada’s Class 7 pricing system will level the playing field and give U.S. farmers the opportunity to compete in a free and fair environment, Stapel said.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte said state farmers welcome the new agreement with open arms.
“The state’s agricultural economy greatly benefits from trade and the relationships with our neighboring countries,” Holte said. “The USMCA is very good news as it builds upon our already-established trade relationships with Canada and Mexico in several key areas.”
Additionally, the USMCA includes measures to address cooperation, information sharing and other trade rules related to agricultural biotechnology and gene editing, the first time measures like that have been included in a trade agreement, Holte said.
The organizations said they plan to continue reviewing the proposed agreement as it works through the process.