The revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), has received many praises from the U.S. agriculture industry. The recent accomplishment is welcome news, but farms groups are calling for more to be done.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) heavily advocated for trade agenda reform through the North America Free Trade Agreement. Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, says an updated NAFTA is encouraging. However, he believes more needs to be done, citing decreases in farm income and weakened farm prices.
“This agreement is certainly no cure all. It is, hopefully, a start to repairing our trade relationships around the world, to restoring our reputation as a reliable trading partner and to resolving long-standing issues with discrimination against U.S. wheat,” Johnson said.
The National Farmers Union supports President Trump in his journey towards balanced, fair trade. However, Johnson says he was disappointed to see a few items missing from the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement.
“Progress was made on the dispute settlement mechanisms, provisions that place tremendous power in the hands of multinational corporations. But the ISDS framework remains,” Johnson said. “Country of Origin Labelling, which is supported by 90% of Americans, was unfortunately left out of this agreement.”
A CoBank report also outlined some missed opportunities within the revised agreement. The report concludes the pact improves certainty, provides more market access and allows the White House to focus on fewer trade negotiations. However, it points out a glaring issue – existing tariffs have not been lifted and continue to impact the U.S. dairy, pork and beef sectors.