Texas lawmakers push for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement
The much-anticipated trade agreement, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, may soon be finalized.
Leaders from the U.S., Mexico and Canada signed the agreement late last year. But each government is responsible for making the USMCA official.
“The trade agreement is so important to Texas,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).
Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar is hoping Congress can pass the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement sometime before Christmas.
And Texas Republican Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) couldn’t agree more.
“I don’t think any state in America will gain more with this agreement, and no state has more to lose,” said Rep. Brady.
In Texas alone, 60,400 agricultural jobs are supported by exports to Canada and Mexico, according 2017 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Texas is made for trade…we’re America’s leader in trade,” said Brady.
The U.S. government says the trade upgrade if passed will widen dairy market exports for U.S. farmers to Canada, meaning U.S. farmers will sell more products like milk, cheese and cream to our neighbors to the north.
Veronica Nigh with the American Farm Bureau Federation says USMCA will do a lot for farmers.
“Better rules on biotechnology, better rules on geographic indicators…this tells the rest of the world we’re open for business,” said Veronica Nigh with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
While Nigh welcomes the new deal, she says there can always be improvements like adding price protections to help seasonal farmers who have short windows to sell their products.
She says it is tough for those farmers to make money if trade partners are exporting their products at a high volume at the same time.
“So that has been something on top of the minds of blueberry growers, asparagus, tomato growers,” said Nigh.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference in mid-November passage of the agreement is “imminent”.
Mexico already ratified the agreement.
Representative Cuellar said he met with Mexican officials who are counting on the agreement to get finalized too.