USMCA’s Importance Stressed as Other Trade Negotiations are on the Table

Former USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack speaks at Michigan Farm Bureau | Credit: Ashley Davenport

On Monday, leadership representing Michigan’s small businesses, manufacturing, and dairy industry, along with former USDA secretary Tom Vilsack met at Michigan Farm Bureau headquarters in Lansing to encourage the passing of USMCA.

According to Secretary Vilsack, 30 percent of everything produced on U.S. farms and ranches are exported. Anything that expands those exports is good for farmers’ bottom lines.

“This particular agreement will expand opportunities in a number of commodities, protect those opportunities, and our number one market and number two market, Mexico and Canada,” said Vilsack.

Last week, Vilsack stood with Sec. Sonny Perdue and former secretaries of ag to praise USMCA and encourage its passing. With it being such an intensive trade agreement, he said Congress is taking its time to ensure the benefits of USMCA.

“You have to make sure you have enough time to carefully review the terms and conditions of this agreement so you can satisfy yourself tat this in an improvement over the existing trading relationship,” he said.

If, for some reason, USMCA isn’t ratified, Vilsack says it can set the tone for other countries wanting to strike a deal with the U.S.—and not in a positive way.

“If we fail to negotiate an agreement that’s clearly better than the previous agreement, those who are negotiating with up now will wonder whether or not their agreement can get ratified,” he said. “It will have an impact on how they negotiate.”

Sec. Vilsack added that it’s imperative that USMCA gets passed before the 2020 election begins.

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