USMCA passed by House, under consideration in Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Dec. 19 by a 385-41 vote. All 14 members of Georgia’s House delegation voted for passage.
On Jan. 3, the bill was received in the Senate, where it was referred to six committees: Finance; Health, Education, Labor & Pensions; Environment & Public Works; Appropriations; Foreign Relations; and Commerce, Science & Transportation. The Senate Finance Committee approved it on Jan. 7.
USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement. According to information provided by the American Farm Bureau Federation, USMCA is expected to increase U.S. ag exports by $2 billion and result in a $65 billion increase in gross domestic product.
The agreement will provide new market access for American dairy and poultry products while preserving the zero-tariff platform on all other ag products. In particular, the agreement gives U.S. dairy producers access to an additional 3.6% of Canada’s dairy market – exceeding what was proposed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Canada agreed to grade U.S.-produced wheat no less favorably than its own.
Mexico and the United States have also agreed that all grading standards for ag products will be non-discriminatory.
Additional provisions enhance science-based trading standards among the three nations as the basis for sanitary and phytosanitary measures for ag products, as well as progress in the area of geographic indications.
The agreement also includes measures that address cooperation, information sharing and other trade rules among the three nations related to agricultural biotechnology and gene editing.