Many months later the question about whether there will be a vote in the U.S. House on the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement remains unanswered. But, those wanting the NAFTA replacement ratified by Congress continue to insist it will be good for American business and workers.
Last week’s Vice President Mike Pence Indianapolis address focusing on USMCA was preceded by a panel discussion of representatives of steel, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. Amy Cornell with the Agribusiness Council of Indiana said the new agreement will help all Indiana farmers.
“Our farmers have really been suffering these last few years,” she said. “Their income has decreased by about 46 percent since 2014. They need trade, they need export, and they need certainty, and USMCA does that for them.”
And USMCA will specifically help dairy farmers who have been facing a crisis for the last five years.
“Here in the state of Indiana in 2018 we lost ten percent of our dairy farms and we’re projected to do that again in 2019. What USMCA does is provide market access to those farmers. It also prevents Canada from dumping some dry dairy products on the world market and under pricing us, provides new access for chicken, eggs and expanded poultry markets.”
Cornell highlighted the statistical importance of the Canada and Mexico markets, but she also stressed the food safety benefits in USMCA that provide important updates over NAFTA.
“Sanitary and phytosanitary standards that are now included in USMCA are important,” said Cornell, who summed that up in layman’s terms. “We want to make sure that our food is safe. We want to make sure that the health of the animals and plants are taken care of, and we want to make sure that everyone is meeting certain standards but not hiding behind those standards in order to protect their domestic farmers. USMCA provides those protections for us.”
She explained that products coming into the United States and shipping containers and pallets will all need to meet updated standards under USMCA. She added, the food safety standards in the agreement are based on science, and not protectionism.
The trade policy event at MacAllister Machinery was one in a series put on by America First Policies. The panel discussion was introduced by former Trump Administration cabinet member Linda McMahon, now the chair of America First Policies. In addition to Cornell, the panel included Leigh Ann Pusey, Senior Vice President at Eli Lilly and Company; Richard Manning, Americans for Limited Government; Chris Graham, Steel Dynamics; and moderator Curtis Ellis, Senior Policy Advisor, America First Policies. Hear the discussion:America-First-Policies-USMCA-Panel