WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to ratify President Trump’s new United States, Mexico, Canada (USMCA) trade agreement providing necessary updates and improvements to the renegotiated 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Democrats and Republicans hailed the USMCA pact – a top legislative priority for President Donald Trump – as a victory for American farmers and workers and said it could serve as a model for trade agreements.
For the past two years, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. has been involved in the writing and passage of this trade agreement and Thursday celebrated the victory this vote represents for farmers, small business owners, and manufacturers. This agreement will create thousands of jobs in Kansas.
“Today I delivered on my number one legislative priority and voted to ratify President Trump’s United States Mexico Canada trade agreement,” said Rep. Marshall. “This deal delivers hundreds of millions of dollars in market opportunities for Kansas agriculture goods, streamlined supply chains for our small businesses, and thousands of new jobs for hard working Kansans. This deal has been far too long in the making but I look forward to President Trump signing this agreement so he can deliver on his huge promise to the American people. I want to thank all of the agriculture organizations, trade associations, and other industry groups who championed this effort and provided constant support throughout this endeavor.”
“Passage of the UMSCA is a great win for Kansas Agribusiness,” said Ron Seeber, President and CEO, Kansas Grain and Feed Association, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association, and Renew Kansas Biofuels Association. “Whether it be grain, ag inputs, or biofuels, passage shows the world that Kansas and the United States are open for business.”
Canada and Mexico are Kansas’ top two trading partners with a combined $4 billion in exports in 2018 alone. The USMCA trade agreement will result in $68 billion in economic activity for our country, stability and certainty for America’s agriculture producers and small business owners, and sets a twenty-first century standard for future multi-lateral trade agreements.
“This holiday season will be a bit brighter for America’s dairy farmers as today’s vote brings us one step closer to finalizing USMCA and securing a more certain future for the dairy industry,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Kansas’s dairy industry appreciates the work that Congressman Marshall has invested to ensure USMCA will provide expanded market opportunities and a more level playing field for dairy exports. Now we are counting on the Senate to act quickly and finalize USMCA in order to deliver its improvements to North American trade.”
“Passing USMCA was a top priority for Kansas Corn Growers Association. It was also a top priority for Congressman Marshall who played a key role in the passage of the USMCA in the House. We value his work to pass this important trade agreement,” said KCGA President Steve Rome. “Not only is Mexico the #1 export buyer of U.S. corn, over 40% of all Kansas agricultural exports go to Mexico and Canada. Mexico alone has the potential to import more than one billion gallons of ethanol. Canada accounts for more than 20% of our ethanol exports and their imports could increase four-fold.”
“The Kansas Livestock Association applauds the House for passing USMCA,” said Matt Teagarden, CEO of the Kansas Livestock Association. “The agreement updates NAFTA to reflect our modern economy while preserving the unrestricted access for U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico. Approving USMCA sends the message to the rest of the world that we are open for business which is good news for Kansas agriculture.”
“USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to greater market access and stronger partnerships with our nearest neighbors,” said Rich Felts, president of Kansas Farm Bureau. Kansas agriculture is the backbone of our state’s export-focused economy that has benefited under NAFTA. In the midst of a challenging agriculture economy, the farmers and ranchers of Kansas stand ready to meet the demand of the gains achieved in the USMCA.”
“Kansas Wheat is very pleased to see the House pass USMCA and hopes the Senate will take it up and get it passed with the utmost haste,” said Taylor Williamson, Governmental Affairs Director of Kansas Wheat. “Mexico is the largest international buyer of Kansas wheat, and during a time when farmers are facing substantial economic hardship, it is vital that important markets like this remain open. Passing USMCA will give our farmers trade certainty and be a positive signal to our other buyers of wheat.”
"Kansas soybean farmers have been facing a lot of trade uncertainty for quite some time now, and USMCA assures we have stable, open access to Mexico and Canada. Those two markets are vital for our crop," said Dwight Meyer, Haiwatha, president, Kansas Soybean Association. "We thank Congressman Marshall for keeping a spotlight on the agreement for more than a year in support of agriculture, manufacturing and business. It's gratifying to see Congress finally take action on something so important for the whole country and economy."
“USMCA represents a modernized free trade agreement that will continue Kansas sorghum producers’ ability to conduct business in key North American markets, especially with our Mexican partners,” said Jesse McCurry, Executive Director of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association.