Statement Courtesy of ISA President Tim Bardole
Ankeny, IA – Progress toward the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) this week signifies an important milestone in rebalancing trade. The Iowa Soybean Association commends U.S., Mexican and Canadian leaders for this historic trade agreement and looks forward to swift passage by the U.S. House of Representatives.
For over a year, soybean farmers have championed approval of this agreement. Increased trade with our North American neighbors provides much-needed market demand for our soybeans and soy products. It also provides some optimism we can build on this agreement and return profitability to agriculture.
Passage and ratification of USMCA will maintain the zero-tariff platform on soybean products and signal to U.S. farmers that Mexico and Canada are open for business. Mexico and Canada continue to be top markets for U.S. agricultural products. These trade relationships are critical to the long-term sustainability of the U.S. soybean market.
This administration has delivered on its promise to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a modern trade pact that prioritizes agriculture and recognizes its importance to rural economies. Despite tremendous trade uncertainty surrounding a deal with China, this administration has secured agriculture’s trade relationship with two key export markets for years to come.
Soybean exports have quadrupled to Mexico and doubled to Canada since NAFTA was enacted in 1994. U.S. soy exports to Canada and Mexico were almost $3 billion in 2017. Mexico is the second-largest export market for U.S. soybeans and soy meal. A total of $43 billion of U.S. agriculture products are exported to Canada and Mexico every year.
Soybean farmers recognize Iowa’s congressional delegation, Gov. Kim Reynolds and Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig for their vigilance in securing this historic trade agreement. We look forward to the Senate acting swiftly to ratify USMCA before year’s end.