Farmers and ranchers have been anticipating the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) for quite some time. Promise of a compromise has been warranted by many politicians, but there has yet to be a unanimous decision. As the August recess draws near, a spark of hope has been ignited by Senator Chuck Grassley.
Determination in getting the USMCA passed was demonstrated throughout Senator Grassley’s weekly agriculture conference call on Monday, as he touched on his communication with fellow politicians.
“I spoke with Speaker Pelosi about it, and I believe she wants it to get the ‘yes’. I urged the House Democrats and Ambassador Lighthizer to work out their differences on labor, environment, and enforcement. And I think they’re making some progress. This will all be to the benefit of workers, our businesses, our farmers, our ranchers, and families.”
When asked about the timeline of the USCMA, Senator Grassley mentioned that he is on board with the predicted September timeframe.
“If they bring it up in the House–early September. A Democratic leader said early September. And he thought Pelosi would be able to move ahead, even if she had a minority of her own caucus willing to go along. So that good news, and something that’s more definitive than I’ve had from anybody else.”
The Senator also responded to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) database release of subsidy payments for the first round of the Trump Administration’s Trade Aid. Senator Grassley focused on the lack of aid caps.
“You get back to what I’ve always said about farm programs. There should be a cap on them because 10 percent of the farmers get 70 percent of the benefits of the farm program. Farm program is meant to help people over humps beyond their own control. There are some large farmers who do have the benefit of having resources to get over those humps without government help, and, consequently, why we need hard payment caps.”